Raymond L. Pratl / February 11, 1926 – May 8, 2010Published 7:15pm Sunday, May 9, 2010
Raymond L. Pratl, 82, of Woodland Avenue in Niles died at 4:20 p.m. Saturday, May 8, 2010 at Riveridge Manor following an extended illness.
He was born on February 11, 1928 in Chicago Ill., to Joseph and Mary (Pratl) Pratl and graduated from Wheatfield High School in Indiana in 1945. Following graduation Pratl began his career with the New York Central Railroad as a clerk in Chicago.
In 1946 he transferred to Niles as a steam locomotive fireman and in 1950 was promoted to locomotive engineer.
Ray served two years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Signal Corps during the Korean Conflict as Corporal with a tour of duty in Germany. He returned to the railroad and retired from the Penn Central with 24 years of service.
He then earned a business degree from the South Bend College of Commerce and began a new career in automobile sales at the former Brigs Oldsmobile-Cadillac agency in Niles. Two years later he was promoted to sales manager and held that position until the dealership was closed in 1988. He continued in sales part time at Linville’s Recreational Vehicles in Niles and Linville’s Cadillac in Elkhart.
Ray was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Niles where he also served as an usher. He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus Council #708 and of the B.P.O. of the Niles Elks #1322. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police #95, the American Legion Post #26 both also of Niles.
He enjoyed gardening and yard work, hunting and traveling with his wife both domestically and internationally. His greatest interest was his family especially his nieces and nephews.
On April 24, 1948 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church he married the former Frances R. Frucci with whom he celebrated the sixty-second anniversary of marriage this year.
Surviving family includes his wife, Frances Pratl; sister Bernice Myers of Wheatfield Ind. and nieces and nephews of several generations.
Ray was preceded in death by his parents Mary and Joseph Pratl; brothers Joseph Pratl Jr., Charles Feigl and Joseph Feigl and sisters Mary Schultz, Rose Van Caro and Emmy Beniseck.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Raymond Pratl will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 12 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church by the Rev. David Otto of the parish with the Rev. William T. Melody of Notre Dame, Ind. concelebrating.
Committal Rites will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Niles and will conclude with the Veteran’s Flag Presentation and Taps by American Legion Post #26.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 2-4 p.m. and from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles with recitation of the Rosary at 7:30 p.m.
Contributions in memory of Ray Pratl may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, to the church’s food pantry or to the donor’s choice.