Gene A. Pratt

Gene A. Pratt, 88, of Laramie, died Thursday, August 26, 2021, in Highland, Utah. Gene was born January 30, 1933, in Washington D.C. to Elmer William Pratt and Genevieve (Robinson) Pratt. 

He graduated from Granite High School in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1951. 

He married Kay Barney August 25, 1952, in the Salt Lake City Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and Kay are the parents of nine children: Elizabeth Anne (Craig) Edwards, Jennifer Jean (John) Reidhead, Kathleen Kay (Richard) Stancliffe, Matthew Barney (Joyce) Pratt, Doris Eileen (Richard) Heilbut, Belinda Lee (Ronald) Nelson, David Barney (Wendy) Pratt, Edie Pratt Elwood, and Timothy Barney (Shirley) Pratt.

Gene received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Botany from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Texas, Austin. He joined the University of Wyoming Botany faculty in the fall of 1961. He loved his teaching career at UW, especially General Botany, Genetics, Cytology, and Cytogenetics. He also served as Associate Dean of the UW College of Arts and Sciences and Director of the UW Center for Academic Advising. In these various capacities his emphasis and his joy were his students. He retired from UW in 1995. 

Gene and Kay were devoted members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Among other opportunities, they served together as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Norwich, England; in Rochester, New York; and in Laramie, Wyoming. They served and were served by countless family and friends throughout their long, full lives.

 Life was simple and beautiful for Gene. His priorities were 1) God 2) Kay, 3) his children (and their families), 4) his work, 5) his friends, and 6) the Laramie community. 

He was preceded in death by his wife Kay Pratt. He is survived by his nine children and their spouses, 36 grandchildren and 65 great grandchildren.

An outdoor celebration of life will be held on Saturday morning, September 4th from 10:30-12:30 at the pavilion for the Sunset Heights 6th Ward, 500 S 600 West in Orem, Utah.

Services in Laramie will begin with a viewing from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 10, 2021, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Baker St, Laramie, WY. Funeral services will follow at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 10, 2021, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Baker St, Laramie, WY. Interment will follow at Greenhill Cemetery.

Due to the on-going health concerns in our country, we will understand if you choose to watch the funeral services on Zoom. The Zoom link is: https://uwyo.zoom.us/j/96348262540

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Condolences (21)

  • Greg Wong

    My deepest condolences for your loss. Gene was a warm, honest and giving person who will be sorely missed.

  • Katie Morgan

    Gene and Kay were long time active members and supporters of the Albany County Genealogical Society. They had many friends in the society and their presence has been missed. Our condolences to their family.

  • Becky Riley

    Pratt Family I apologize for the leaving this condolence so late. I was unaware that Dr. Pratt had passed until today. I appreciate all he taught me and use the ethics he helped me develop daily. He was an inspiration and his loss will be greatly felt. Becky Riley

  • Brita (Asplund) Arrington

    I have known the Pratts my whole life and owe to both Gene and Kay (as well as their kids) much love and gratitude for more special and foundational memories than can be expressed here. They were my other Mom and Dad, and the Pratt Clan and the Asplund Girls are all bound together in precious Laramie moments forever frozen in time. I hope that our parents are having a joyful reunion on the other side. Sending bunches of Love to all from Texas.

  • Anonymous

    The Del & Luana Stevens family will also miss good Bishop Pratt!! He was a friend to all of us. Recalling a long ago event where he was honored for some reason or other...not sure now, just what it was...well, I, Susan Stevens Tuft wrote a limerick to "roast him." (Or Toast him??) Had to do with his growing a beard for some reason, and we, I at least, was so un-used to seeing him in it, that I composed the following: "There once was a good bishop-botanist, who felt that his luck was the rottenist. As he'd step to the stand, the uncouth would demand if his beard wasn't Really store-boughtenist!!" And it went on from there ending up with his shaving it off, with this line: "to the sink, where he had the last word." Well, the good bishop-botanist is now among other flora and fauna and he will no doubt be making a difference in other lives, just as he did in ours. We loved him. Susan Tuft

  • Laurel Cottam

    I am grateful for my association with Pres. Pratt, his sweet Kay and with several of the younger Pratt children. I have thought of you often through the years and am grateful for the enjoyable visits I was able to have with Gene and Kay while they were in Utah. Now, they are together again for their next mission--which will be a grand one! It was special to see the beautiful chapel and friends who participated on the program. I send my very best wishes and love to each of you and am grateful for my many Laramie memories. Pres. Pratt was a good friend and support to my family, and I was privileged to work in his office at the university for two years. I am grateful for his faithful service and the strength and goodness of his life. May each of you family members continue to be blessed by the teachings and love of your faithful and devoted parents and by your great family heritage. My love, Laurel Cottam

  • John and Joan Duvall

    Our sympathy to the family of Gene and Kay Pratt. They were and are great people. We think most if not all of our kids had Gene for a seminary teacher and at least one got chalk thrown at him. We all remember Brother Pratt fondly for his good spirit and friendship. they were both a big example to our family, and to many people in Laramie. John and Joan Duvall

  • John and Julie Gwynn

    We treasure the years we lived in Laramie and associated with the Gene and Kay Pratt family.

  • John and Julie Gwynn

    Our family was blessed by Gene and his family during the years we lived in Laramie. Mutual respect, shared experiences, good memories, times together, learning, helping, being helped and more were all part of those years. Times and seasons have come and gone separating us physically but not in love and friendship.

  • Jenifer Kunz

    Sincere condolences to all. Many blessings and much love.

  • Floyd Young

    I first met Gene Pratt when I returned from my LDS mission to England . I was newly married and in the single’s Ward bishopric with Bishop Steven’s. We he was released the newly called Bishop Pratt called me as a counselor. I got to know this loving and caring man and his sweetheart, Kay, and their children. I learned so much from Gene Pratt. He will be missed❤️❤️

  • Jan and David O'Dell

    To the Pratt Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Gene was a friend and my academic advisor, then mentor for being an advisor myself. He was never for a loss of help, whether it was thru the church, UW, or simply lending a hand. He and Kay will be missed by many!

  • Janet Graham

    I am so sorry for your loss! Gene was a spiritual giant. I was blessed to have him as my Seminary teacher and he was our family’s home teacher for years. He developed a special friendship with my dad and helped soften his heart toward the church. He will always hold a special spot in the hearts of the Ray family! (I can only imagine what a joyous reunion he had with Kaye…that makes me smile!)

  • John and Gladys Maurer

    Deepest sympathies from the Maurer family. Our hearts go out to the Pratt’s.

  • Jim and Gay Rogers

    Our condolences to the family. Gene and Kay were beautiful people and we loved them both Hod bless you all knowing that they are once again holding hands and enjoying each other. God bless you all Jim and Gay Rogers

  • Susan R. Wayment

    I knew of Gene & Kay Pratt through their wonderful daughter, Jennifer, with whom I have been friends for forty-two years. The obituary for Gene & Jennifer’s recounting of his life to me were very modest. Gene was a giant of a man! He was an influential patriarch first & foremost. But he was also a spiritual leader & devoted disciple of Jesus Christ. He was a scholar & mentor to many at UW. Jennifer, I know you will miss him. But I know the testimony that he helped instill within in you will burn brightly. You understand that he has just moved forward in his eternal progression & that he has rejoined your loving mother. My condolences to you & your family at this somber time of his passing. Love, Susan Wayment

  • Joseph and Sue Lewis

    I met Bishop Gene Pratt and his gracious wife, Kay, when they were the father and mother of the singles ward in Laramie. Their loving and caring attitudes helped and guided me in my first year away from home in 1965. Bishop Pratt is the epitome of what a great man should be. He and Sister Pratt blessed many with their love and I have reaped the benefits for 56 years. Thank you!

  • Debbie Maes

    Oh no, this just crushed my heart. My condolences to his family, he will be truely missed.

  • Scott & Jennifer Despain

    Please accept the condolences of Jennifer & Scott Despain and family. We knew him as Brother Pratt or President Pratt. We knew him as a true friend and a second dad. We have so many wonderful memories of him, both on and off the ranch, in the early years and later in life. Time at our house, the Pratt house and in "the hills." His willingness to drive Scott to seminary each day. Our schooling at UW where he was our biology teacher and unofficial advisor. (Because we took his advice--Pick one of the top four or five graduate programs in the country, and then go there--We went to Indiana University, and ultimately to NC.) A fond memory, typical of who they were, happened when they were serving as mission president and companion in NY. After a long day of work with missionaries and who knows what else, and when they might have preferred to head to bed, they made a late night visit to our family in our hotel room in Rochester to visit and catch up. All of these are memories that we will treasure always. Brother Pratt is a man of righteousness, compassion, faithfulness and goodness. He fought the good fight.

  • Susie Markus

    I completed a graduate assistantship at the Center for Academic Advising in 1990. Dr. Pratt became a beloved friend and mentor. I cherish the lessons in empathy, respect and kindness he taught me over the years. He was a gentle, wise soul. I think of him often, and his mentorship still guides my work as a counselor. He lives on through the countless people whose lives he touched with his caring. Condolences to his lovely family.

  • Ray and Carol Field

    To the family of Gene and Kay Pratt, Please accept the condolences of Ray and Carol Field, who were neighbors on Howe Rd. in Laramie, Wyoming for over 30 years, and friends way longer than that. Gene died at 88 and I, Ray will be 88 before 2021 ends. Now we live at 21662 Sumpter Stage Hwy. near Baker City, Oregon 97814.

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