Sheldon J. Pratt
February 27, 1947 - November 14, 2017
Sheldon James Pratt, loving husband, dedicated father and quiet adoring Papa, went to be with the Lord Tuesday evening November 14, 2017 surrounded by his family. He was the second born son of Rodger Ellis and Marcia Abbott Pratt, born in Glendale, CA. His growing up years were spent working in his dad’s auto mechanic shop in Glendale, CA, and water skiing, camping and dirt bike riding with his family. He played the clarinet and ran track in high school and while in college he helped his parents build houses, living in them in the winter and selling them the next spring. Snow skiing and cross country dirt bike racing were some of his favorite hobbies during college.
Sheldon was a graduate of LaCanada High School, and Glendale College. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture at the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID, followed by a Masters of Arts Degree in Agricultural Economics at Washington State University in Pullman, WA.
While pursuing a PHD in Agricultural Economics he accepted a job in Bakersfield, CA assisting the Vice President of Marketing for Superior Farming Company, a subsidiary of Superior Oil Company. During his time in Bakersfield he completed his 6 year commitment with the Washington Air National Guard Air Force Reserves as an Administrative Specialist, ending his service with the rank of E-5 Staff Sergeant. It was while in Bakersfield he met his future wife, Tracy Wakefield. They were married April 16, 1977 and spent 40 years of loving commitment together.
In 1979 Sheldon accepted a position with the Oregon Department of Agriculture in Salem, OR. Three years later thinking they wanted to go back to hot weather and old friends Sheldon made a job change working for Sun-Maid Raisin Company in Selma, CA while living in Visalia, CA. Not meeting his expectations the family moved back to Salem, OR in 1983, finally feeling like it was home. Sheldon became the Director of the Oregon Dairy Products Commission in Portland, OR, spending 23 years commuting from Salem to work with an amazing staff and dedicated hard working dairymen. During those years some of his favorite pastimes were crewing for a top alcohol funny car drag race team headed up by Parker Auto Electric, taking the family to Lake Shasta, CA to water ski and Sun River, OR for vacations, 4 wheeling at the sand dunes and watching OSU Beaver football games.
Sheldon and Tracy were blessed with 3 sons who meant the world to him: Brittan Sheldon, Jacob Lloyd, and Joseph Wakefield. With them he shared his mechanical abilities, love for cars, drag racing, and waterskiing, and a passion for his favorite comfort foods, pizza and donuts. More importantly he shared his enthusiasm for whatever interested his boys and then he became their greatest cheerleader.
His sudden retirement in 2005 was brought on by a progressive rare dementia, Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD). It was during this journey with dementia that he was blessed with 2 granddaughters and 1 bonus grandson. Jake’s daughter Elisabeth (Ellie) and Joey’s daughter Makenzie and bonus son Logan Boyd were the light of his life and brought him so much joy.
Pacific Living Centers’ Harmony House Memory Care of Salem was Sheldon’s home for the last 5 years of his life. Amazing caregivers Michelle, Carey, Oscar, Maria R, Maria S, Sandra, Sylvia, Sierra, Nurse Debbie, Ana, Angelique, Amanda, Keisha, Felicia, Kathy, Christina, Shantel, Nakrin, Neisa, Rafael, Donna, Jamie and Germaine lovingly cared for Sheldon as he strolled around playing supervisor to their activities. They and the other residents and their families became like family to us. Additionally the faithful Monday visitors from Salem Alliance Church; Joe Broeker, Doug Farris, Pete Byeman, Dave Howell, Mike Patton, Vern Eggiman, Mark Zirkle, Don Ferguson, Terry Beilke, Darrell Britton, Sherm Ober, Monte Monismith and Phil Galvin brought milkshakes and French fries on their visits to brighten Sheldon’s days with male conversation and companionship. Visits from Dick Mallery who came every week to cheer the residents up with his kind words and beautiful singing voice also enriched Sheldon’s stay. They all were such blessings to Sheldon for which we will be forever grateful.
Sheldon is survived by his wife Tracy, sons Brittan, Jacob (Michelle) and Joseph (Jessica), granddaughters Elisabeth (Ellie) and Makenzie, bonus grandson Logan Boyd, and brother Rodger (Toni).
Memorial contributions may be made to Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) https://www.fca.org/ , Salem Alliance Church CAMA Services http://www.salemalliance.org/ , Racers For Christ Teamrfc.org and The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD) http://www.theaftd.org/ .
A casual Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday December 2, 2017 at 10am at Salem Alliance Church in Salem, OR. Donuts, milk and coffee will be served afterwards. Assisting is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.