Robbinston and Millinocket - James Walter Pratt, 89, passed away Friday, July 3, 2020 at his home surrounded by family. Jim was born May 18, 1931 in Millinocket, Maine to Walter and Anna Tozier Pratt.
Jim attended the Millinocket School System where he graduated from Stearns High School, class of 1948. He was student director and played trumpet in the Stearns band. Under the guidance of George Wentworth, he was pitcher and infielder on the baseball team, quarterback of the football team, and point-guard of the basketball team. He was invited to try out for the Milwaukee Braves, but did not attend. Jim attended the Aroostook State Teachers College at Presque Isle.
He married his beloved wife Anne Murphy in 1954 and she became a great supporter in all of his endeavors. He was the proud father of two children, his daughter Erin and her husband Donald Bolduc of Millinocket, and his son Ian Pratt and his wife Erika of Robbinston. Jim doted on his grandsons Ryan and Jeremy Bolduc and Ethan and James Pratt.
Jim returned to Millinocket where he worked for the recreation department. Later, he went to work for O.S. Gonya and then to Katahdin Motors as parts manager, but soon became a salesman. In 1964, he purchased Craig Ford in Millinocket and became an automobile dealer of Pratt Ford and also later of Pratt Ford of Calais, Maine. He was elected director of the New England Ford Dealers, which had two directors from each New England state.
He played semi-pro ball in Millinocket on the Emerson Pills basketball and baseball teams. He also played basketball for the Millinocket Aggies. Jim’s continued love of competition and playing sports extended into his eighties playing darts, cards and bowling.
Jim was an avid fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, and the Boston Celtics. He coached Little League and Little-Pro basketball.
Jim was, for many years, a basketball official and officiated one state championship game before he had to retire due to the demands of his businesses.
Jim was elected to the Millinocket School Committee and served as chairman for many years. He was chairman of the new Stearns High School building and the athletic complex. After retiring from his dealerships, he opened JP’s, an upscale men and women’s clothing store.
Jim came out of retirement in 1996 to open Pratt Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick in Calais, Maine where his son Ian joined him. He had great rapport with all his employees and considered them part of the family.
Jim was a lifelong member of the First Congregational Church of Millinocket and served as deacon and treasurer. Jim also served seven years in the Maine National Guard and was a life member of the Millinocket Elks.
Jim loved getting together with family and friends at his camp on Cold Stream Pond. He enjoyed playing horseshoes, cards, and grilling a great steak.
Jim was predeceased by his parents, brothers Norman and his wife Rita, and Donald and his wife Louise. He is survived by his loving wife, Anne Pratt of Robbinston, his daughter Erin and husband Don Bolduc of Millinocket, son Ian and Erika Pratt of Robbinston, grandsons Ryan and Jeremy Bolduc of Millinocket and Ethan and James Pratt of Robbinston. He is also survived by his nieces Mary Pratt Burke of New Hampshire, and ¬¬Donna Pratt Andrick of Brewer, Maine, a nephew Dennis Pratt of Oklahoma, sister-in-laws Jean Murphy of St. Stephen and Carrie Murphy of Holden, Maine, brother-in-law F. John Murphy and his wife Ann, their family Wayne, Dennis, and Michael and their wives of Millinocket.
Visiting hours will be held 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 6, 2020 at Mays Funeral Home, 26 Church St., Calais. A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 7, at the First Congregational Church, 21 Calais Ave, Calais. Burial will follow in the Millinocket Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jim’s memory may be made to: Shriners Children’s Hospitals, P.O Box 1525, Ransom, West Virginia 25438; St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, P.O Box 50, Memphis, TN 38101-9929; or Salvation Army, 65 S. Park Street, Bangor, Maine 04401.