PRAIRIE GROVE – Retired Lt. Gen. Everett H. Pratt Jr. dedicated his time to helping others, whether it be his family, the village of Prairie Grove or other veterans. He died March 15 at age 73.
“He lived to serve, and to do something for his community and his country,” said Thomas Pratt, his son.
Everett Pratt was born in Covington, Georgia, and entered the U.S. Air Force in 1964 as a graduate of the Emory University Reserve Office Training Corps program in Atlanta, according to his obituary.
He served three tours of duty as a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot in Vietnam, earning the Silver Star for gallantry in action.
Altogether, Everett Pratt tallied more than 4,000 flight hours in F-4s, F-16s and T-38s, and earned a number of other military recognitions.
He also was chosen as one of the Northwest Herald’s 2017 Everyday Heroes after being nominated by people in the community.
Everett Pratt retired from active duty in 1997, moved to Prairie Grove from Texas in 2002 and worked for Northrop Grumman until 2009.
He was actively involved in a number of veterans-related agencies, including Chicago-based Leave No Veteran Behind, Disabled American Veterans and McHenry-based TLS Veterans, for which he completed a term as president of the board in February.
TLS Veterans Executive Director Laura Franz said Everett Pratt helped reshape the organization when, as board president, he helped fill the vacancy for executive director by hiring Franz.
“He knew there were some challenges ahead of us, but he viewed it as a fun thing – not a negative thing in any way, shape or form,” Franz said.
He was efficient with his work, Franz said, and always had empathy for veterans.
“He never forgot what that was like to be that frontline person or someone who was going through struggles,” Franz said.
Everett Pratt also was a court-appointed special advocate for children who have endured abuse or neglect.
For about six years, he served as a Prairie Grove trustee, Prairie Grove Village President Stan Duda said.
“Everett was absolutely a great board member to the village of Prairie Grove,” Duda said via email. “He was a man that spent time reviewing and understanding the issues, was fair and objective and had the residents’ best interest at heart looking at the value of various services across our community relative to the cost of those services.”
As a father, Everett Pratt was always supportive, Thomas Pratt said.
Everett Pratt’s family includes his wife, Joyce; sons, Thomas and Stephen Pratt; and granddaughter, Maeve Pratt.