Kenneth L. Prather

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1919-2002

Former Craig resident Kenneth L. Prather died Thursday, June 6, 2002, at the Shepherd of the Valley Care Center in Casper, Wyo. He was 83.

Prather was born March 19, 1919, in Craig to Jesse Murl and Alta (Talkington) Prather. He attended grade school in Moffat County and graduated from Craig High School.

He joined the Colorado National Guard in 1939 and served in World War II in Europe with the 45th Infantry Division, 157th Medical Detachment. He served in North Africa, Sicily, Naples, Rome and was taken prisoner in February of 1944 at Anzio, Italy. He was liberated by the Russians from Stalag III in Germany in May of 1945. He was discharged on Sept. 3, 1945 with the rank of staff sergeant.

On May 5, 1941, Prather married Ruth Jones in Rifle, Colo. She died in April of 1963. He married Betty Vial on Oct. 23, 1963, at Glenwood Springs, Colo. She died on Aug. 20, 2001.

Prather worked as the manager for Independent Lumber in Palisade, Colo. He joined the Johns-Manville Corp in 1963 and was transferred to Casper, Wyo., in 1966, as territory manager of Wyoming, Montana and North and South Dakota. He retired in 1989.

Prather was a member of American Legion Post 2 in Casper, past president of the Lions Club in Palisade, Colo. and Past Exalted Ruler for Elks Lodge 1577 in Craig. He was also an avid gardener.

Prather is survived by his daughters, Vicki (Lyman) Prather of Wyoming, Jan Culver of Las Vegas, Nev., Terry Wirth and her husband of Glenrock, Wyo. Judy Paul and her husband of Las Vegas, Nev. and Sharon Vial and her husband of Longmont, Colo.; brother, Lyle Prather of Craig; sisters, Edna Paulson of Craig, Florence VanTassel of Craig and Montie Burgess of Craig; 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, both wives and two brothers, Keith Prather and Lawrence Prather.

Services were on Monday, June 10, 2002, at the Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery in Evansville, Wyo., with Chaplain Marvin Skogen from Shepherd of the Valley Care Center officiating.

He was given military honors by the Natrona County United Veterans Council.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 232 E. 2nd St. Casper, WY 82601 or the American Legion No. 2, 4200 Legion Lane, Casper, WY 82609.

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