Delbert Wendell Pratt
April 25, 1927 - June 8, 2014
Delbert Pratt, 87, of Enterprise, died June 8, 2014, at Turner Retirement Home in Turner, Oregon after a few months of declining health. He was born on April 25, 1927, in Enterprise, Oregon, the fifth child of Everett and Gratia (Spicer) Pratt. He had two brothers, Morris and Alvin, and two sisters, Daphne and Margaret (who died as an infant).
Delbert grew up on his grandfather Ira Pratt's family homestead on Lower Prairie Creek in Wallowa County. He attended Pratt School through 8th grade and then Enterprise High School where he graduated in 1944. He joined the Navy at the end of World War II and then remained in the Naval Reserves until 1962. He attended Eastern Oregon College, and then returned to Wallowa County where he owned his insurance agency until 1979. Delbert loved to talk, which made selling insurance, and later real estate very easy for him. He was a true historian at heart and was always willing to share the history of Wallowa County with a remarkable ability to remember all sorts of facts. If someone wanted to talk about the county, he was more than willing to provide them with the history of his family including the fact that his grandmother's family, the Perkins homesteaded there in 1873.
Delbert married (Ruby) Itha Wright on November 11, 1955 at Itha's parents' farm on Alder Slope. They had five children: Lillian, Beverly, Susan, Joyce and John. Delbert loved the Lord and was a devoted husband and father. He was very active in the Enterprise Christian Church, serving in a variety of ways including as an elder and as the chief historian for the church's 100th year celebration. He was a member for over 60 years and showed his love to his children by ensuring that they knew the God he worshipped and why God loved them. He was also very active in many community organizations including the Lions, American Legion, Elks, Jaycees, Shriners, and Scottish Rite. He served on the boards of Emmanuel School of Religion Associates', the Lion's Site and Hearing and the Big Bend Ditch Co. Delbert loved to travel and took Itha and Joyce on many of his journeys. He logged more than 3400 hours as a private pilot and two million miles in a car. He traveled to all fifty states, as well as many foreign countries.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers and sisters, wife Itha, and daughter Joyce.
Survivors include his children: Lillian Edmonds of Philomath; Beverly Pratt of Salem; Susan Chriss of Bend; and John Pratt of Salem. He is also survived by nine grandchildren (Christopher, Rachel, Andrew, Benjamin, Jacob, Bethany, Steffany, Allisyn, Aaron), two great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the Enterprise Christian Church on June 21st at 2 pm. Memorial Contributions may be made to the Enterprise Christian Church Building fund in his memory.
Published in StatesmanJournal on June 15, 2014