Bernard Roy 'Pretz' Prellwitz, 89, who was born Dec. 5, 1923, died April 16 in Casper, Wyo.
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A celebration of his life is 2 p.m. Saturday at the Creel Funeral Home in Lewistown, with interment in the Lewistown City Cemetery to follow.
Pretz was born in Ypsilanti, N.D., the oldest of four children to Ewalt and Marie Prellwitz (neé Thedens). His parents were the children of German immigrants; they migrated to Montana from their family homesteads in Minnesota with the hope of starting a farm on his father's land. He grew up mainly in Judith Gap,where he graduated from Judith Gap High School in the class of 1942.
In 1943, Pretz was inducted into the U.S. Army 103rd Field Artillery Battalion and served as a tank driver in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Upon his honorable discharge in 1946, he had spent over a year in foreign service to his country and saw military action in Luzon and New Guinea. He earned service ribbons for the American Theater of Operations, the Asiatic Pacific Theater and Philippine Liberation, in addition to the Victory Ribbon.
Pretz married the late Jessie Viola Brewington, also of Judith Gap, on July 3, 1948. They were married for 60 years and had two children, Karen (Howard) Marie Palmer of Thermopolis, Wyo., and Tami Kolene Prellwitz, also of Thermopolis.
His career path took his family many places, starting with his years in the Milwaukee Railroad and then with Frontier Airlines in Montana. He later worked for the FAA as an air traffic controller, which took him from Lewistown and Cut Bank to as far away as Alaska, back stateside to Minot, N.D., and Great Falls; whereupon, he retired after 26 years of service before settling in Lewistown.
Pretz and his wife were both avid antique collectors and were well known to the antique dealers and auctioneers of central Montana. He was also active in the American Legion and was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He was preceded in death by both of his parents, who died young; and his brother, Raymond Prellwitz and his wife Jessie.
Pretz is survived by his sister, Bea (Chuck) Andrews of Great Falls; his brother, Ralph (Anita) Prellwitz of Hanford, Calif.; and both of his daughters. In addition, he is survived by three grandchildren, Kara (J.R.) Howe, Robert Palmer and Teresa (David) Hooper; as well as his two great-grandchildren, Kenzie Infanger and Hannah Howe.
Condolences may be posted online at www.creelfuneralhome.com and/or www.gftribune.com/obituaries
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Apr. 25, 2013