Tribute to My Cousin Kenneth John Pratt
a “Most Unforgettable Character”
This past Wednesday night I drove to Chesley to pay my respects at the funeral home to the family of my 68-year-old first cousin Kenny Pratt. On the way home, I got to thinking about how much of my life has involved my siblings and my first cousins. I then started counting them all up. Surprisingly there were 35 of them. Over the decades I have been fortunate to know them all and spend time with them. While we all had some similarities, we all were very different in many ways.
But Kenny Pratt was what one person who knew him very well wrote “For those of us old enough to have read Readers Digest and in particular the section titled “Most Unforgettable Character”, Ken fit the definition to a tee.
Ken had his challenges as a child and spent his life as a single man, never owning a car, riding his bike everywhere around town, constantly playing sports and excelling at many, including hockey, baseball and tennis. His teammates say he was unstoppable on the ball diamond and a force to be reckoned with on the ice.
But most importantly he always worked, and he worked hard at every job he took on. His work career started at the Krug Furniture factory, and he stayed there until it closed. He then took on a variety of odd jobs around Chesley but began to focus on lawn care and snow removal but still did a wide variety of tasks for whoever needed help. Everybody in Chesley knew Kenny as he was always riding his bike carrying whatever he needed for the next job or pushing his lawn mower or carrying his snow shovel to the many folks that relied on him in a variety of ways.
Ken talked to everyone and joked and kibitzed with many. There were more than 110 messages of condolences for him, and all were talking about the pleasure that he had brought to their lives with his friendliness and caring nature.
And all the time he was either playing sports or watching sports. The Leafs and the Blue Jays were not only his teams, they were his “PASSION”. He would rarely miss watching any of their games and after each game he would share his thoughts with whoever he met in his travels around Chesley the following day.
One must read the many tributes to him in the Rhody Family Funeral Services website to know how much the people of Chesley cared about Kenny Pratt.
Rest in peace my dear cousin. You made the world a better place for many people.
Written by: G. William Streeter