Herbert Thomas Pratt
1926 - 2014
Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory - New Castle
1000 N. DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE
Herbert Thomas Pratt

AGE: 88 • Newark

Herbert T. Pratt, 88, of Newark, DE, died peacefully on Jan. 23, 2014, after a brief illness.

A native of Eden, North Carolina, he graduated from Tri-State College of Engineering. After a brief career with Fieldcrest in Eden, in 1952 he moved with his young family to New Castle, Delaware, where he took a position with the textile fibers department of the DuPont Company. He enjoyed his career for its variety of projects in man-made fibers, textile research, technical service, and forensic science. He was the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Olney Medal and the Harold C. Chapin Award, both from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), and three major awards from the American Society of Testing and Materials for his pioneering work in terminology management. He was a 60-year member of the American Chemical Society. He had published over 200 papers on textiles and the history of chemistry.

He retired from Dupont in 1985 and immediately enrolled in a history program at Goddard College, receiving his MA degree in 1987. An avid collector of antiquarian books, his collection of 4000 volumes is now with the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He founded CHF's Bolton Society, an organization for antiquarian chemistry book collectors.

His life-long love of history led to involvement with the Archeological Society of Delaware, the Torch Club of Delaware, the Historical Society of Delaware, the New Castle Historical Society, Delaware Bibliophiles, the Society for the History of Chemistry, and Friends of Bellanca Aircraft. He was also an archivist for the New Castle Presbyterian Church. He received an Award for Outstanding Service from the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation for his design and oversight of the restoration of the historic Mount Pleasant Meeting House and Parsonage at Bellevue State Park near Wilmington. He was a member of the New Castle Presbyterian Church.

He was never afraid of an idea. With his cup of hot water in hand, he loved nothing more than stimulating conversation with people holding different points of view. His wealth of knowledge in science, religion, history, and technology kept him intellectually engaged throughout his life.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Ann Girvin, who passed away in 2012. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary; sons, Warren Pratt and his partner Susan Swan, and Michael Pratt; daughter, Alison and her husband Steve Hetzel; 4 grandchildren, Taeyana Kamir, Evan Queitsch (Tammy), Matthew Queitsch (Betsy Fisher) and Reid Hetzel; and 4 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the New Castle Presbyterian Church, 25 East Second Street, New Castle, DE 19720 or to the charity of your choice.

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Published by The News Journal on Jan. 26, 2014.
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4 Entries
"Is the view worth the climb" is one of several wise sayings I learned from Mr. Pratt. I find myself using them often. I am blessed to have met and worked with him on the restoration of Mt. Pleasant Meeting House during my time with State Parks. While heaven is certainly richer with his presence, we are poorer without him. My sympathies to Mrs. Pratt and family.
Bonnie Twilley
January 31, 2014
You are in my thoughts Mary. Herb was a delight to know. I looked forward to seeing him at every Bolton Society meeting at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. His cup of hot water was always waiting for him while he shared tidbits about so many authors and so many books. I will miss him.
Elsa Atson
January 27, 2014
I am so very sorry, Mary. Herbert was so very dear to Momma and Earline and I loved talking with him. I know he is at home with his Heavenly Father and this brings me comfort. To my cousins, I grieve for your loss and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Jeanne Turner Horton
January 26, 2014
Our thoughts and prayers are with you Mary.
Kim and Evan
Evan Stubbs
January 24, 2014
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