Stella Loraine Pratt


    Loraine’s life began fifty-eight (58) years ago on August 8th, 1946 at
Irishman Creek in Knott County, Kentucky. She was
the fifth of nine children born to Stephen S. and Stella
Mae (Cornett) Pratt. Both parents and two siblings, a
sister, Anna Sue, and a brother, Gwen Oliver, preceded her in death.
Survivors include two sisters, Virginia Lee Everage and Elizabeth
Carrol (Dewayne) Easter; and four brothers, Donald Keith (Shirley)
Pratt, Sidney Wayne (Christene) Pratt, James Arvil (Diana) Pratt, and
Stephen S. (Lorena) Pratt, Jr.
     Like her brother Gwen, Loraine was born with Down’s syndrome.
This precious little baby grew up in a loving family and taught us
many valuable lessons about life and love. Although she never matured beyond childhood, the love, laughter and joy she shared has enriched our lives beyond measure. Perhaps special people, like Gwen and Loraine, are sent to us as messengers from above. Maybe they
are here to remind us of all the goodness and love that was meant to be.
     In earlier years, Loraine attended school on Irishman Creek. She
stayed home after her siblings moved on to other schools, but she
never lost her desire to go back to school. She learned to read and
write a little and used her skills to create valentine cards and birthday
cards for family members and friends. She kept a calendar and her
own birthday list so she wouldn’t forget anyone. As soon as valentine
cards were handed out, she started working on cards for the next
year. She would cut, paste and copy special words and wishes. Each
card was made and signed with love. She got in a little trouble though
when she managed to get some postage stamps and started mailing
things on her own.
     Loraine enjoyed playing with her dolls, working puzzles and coloring
in her large assortment of coloring books. She collected photographs
and spent a lot of time going through all the family albums.
Every year when the Christmas Wish Book came she spent hours
making a list - usually 2 or 3 pages long complete with prices and
page numbers. The Wish Book didn’t get thrown away after Christmas
either.
     Christmas and birthdays were the most important days of the year
for Loraine, as soon as one was over, plans began for the next one.
We didn’t dare forget the occasion because she kept track of all her
gifts and who got them.
     Like everyone else she had chores to do at home. Although housework
wasn’t her favorite thing to do, she was quite good at folding
clothes, sweeping, dusting, cleaning and washing dishes. Sometimes
she was reluctant to do the dishes, especially if she thought her little
sister, Carrol, was trying to boss her around. Her bed was always
made and she kept all her belongings neat and organized. She was
also very good at helping take care of small children.
Loraine loved to sing. She could be found throughout the day
singing and swinging on the front porch. If she didn’t know the words
to a song - no problem - she just listened and repeated them like an
echo.
     Loraine always enjoyed family activities. Holidays and get togethers
were special days and she liked going places, including the
circus, the zoo, picnics and even shopping. She saved her money and
made big plans to spend it. She especially liked attending church.
There, she could help sing and she always got lots of attention. Everyone
was her friend.
     Loving Loraine was easy. She loved all of us in return, but had a
special place in her heart for little ones. Every child in the family
was remarkably close to her. Loraine and Gwen shared a close bond
with each other. They enjoyed the same activities and communicated
in a special way. Sometimes they fussed over each other’s crayons
and coloring books and were quick to tattle on the other. Gwen called
her “Rah Rah” and the smaller kids in the family affectionately called
her “Lit’l Rain”.
     Loraine was very distressed over the tragic loss of our parents in
1990. At that time she went to live primarily with Don and Shirley,
and thereafter formed a very close bond with Shirley. In recent years
Loraine’s health declined to the point where she could no longer participate
in the activities she had always enjoyed. We want to remember
the fun-loving years of her life and thank her for all that she gave
us.
     Well, “Lit’l Rain” it’s time to say good-bye. You have been a joy
and a great blessing to this family. You’ve touched our lives and our
hearts in a very special way. Growing up with you and Gwen has
played a big part in shaping our lives and making us who we are
today. You taught us compassion, empathy and the true meaning of
love. So, go on up to Heaven now and sing for the angels. We’ll be
listening for your echo.

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