William Noble Prater passed peacefully with family around him on August 7, 2010. Born April 4, 1926 to Jesse and Norma (Noble) Prater, he grew up on Ellensburg's west side. A tinkerer and farmer at heart, Bill was also passionate about his family, the high mountains and music. Bill and his brother, Gene, created many clever improvements to both agricultural equipment and mountaineering gear. Bill's engineering background facilitated the development and promotion of the dependable Sherpa Snowshoe which enabled Everest climbers as well as the casual hiker to fully enjoy backcountry snow travel.
The mountains frequently called out to Bill and he was only too willing to answer. In 1965 Bill was part of the Mount Kennedy expedition. In 1977, Mount McKinley called the loudest. He was a member of several mountaineering clubs. Beginning in the 1950's Bill was an active volunteer in Mountain Rescue. Bill was an ardent patriot with veteran status from WWII. Working on the local Cougar Project was the highlight of Bill's life-long love of cats.
William was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Marjorie, Myrna, and Eugene, and nephews Mark and Jim Prater. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, son Rex (Karen) Prater, daughter Sue (Don) Sayegh, grandson Jamie, foster son David W. Long, foster grandchildren, Rachel, Josh, Chelsea, and Bridger, and four nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Bill's life will be held at 1:00 p.m. Aug. 21st, at Swauk Teanaway Grange. Please bring a potluck item and sunflowers from your garden. Donations may be made to ARRF Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 875, Cle Elum
Published in Daily Record from Aug. 11 to Aug. 17, 2010.