Prater, Jack Warren

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Jack W. Prater passed away on Aug. 27, 2013 at the age of 82 at the Wheatland Assistant Living memory care unit after a long illness. He was preceded in death by his parents Mattie Will and Robert W. Prater, and four brothers.

He is survived by two sisters Joyce Hendricks and husband Jim of Birmingham, AL, and Martha Gordon of Fairburn, GA; and his sister-in-law Bertha Crabtree and husband Bill, brother-in-law Doug Robinson and wife Joan, brother-in-law Jim Robinson and many special nieces and nephews.

Jack will be missed by his loving family, his wife Betty Jo of 58 years, his son Steve and his wife Elaine of Roanoke, VA and their children Samantha and husband Michael, Jack, Kristina and husband Chris, Chad, Danielle, and Julie, his son Will of Atlanta, GA, and his daughter Molly of Blacksburg, VA and her daughter Corey Tucker. Jack has three great grandchildren Hope, Layla, and McKenzie.

Jack loved watching Corey play basketball at BHS, and supporting grandson Jack’s golf development since his early childhood and taking Jack to his golf matches. Jack graduated from Miami Edison High School in 1950 and from Virginia Tech in 1956. Jack played football at Tech in 1950, 1951, 1954 and 1955.

He volunteered for the US Army and served in the United States armed forces at Fort Jackson, SC, where he played football from 1952 to 1953 and was named to the All-East Coast Service Team. He played football on Tech’s undefeated team in 1954 under Coach Frank Moseley. During his 1955 senior year, Jack was named All-State, All-Southern Conference and honorable mention All-American. He played in the 1955 Blue-Grey game in Mobile, AL.

After graduation from Virginia Tech, Jack began his football coaching career at his alma mater Miami Edison. He coached in Miami for one season, and returned to coach at Virginia Tech, followed by coaching periods at William & Mary and University of Miami. In 1979, Jack was named the Executive Director of the Virginia Tech Student Aid Association. Additionally, Jack joined the Hunter’s Masonic Lodge 156 AF & AM, and remained a member for 37 years.

Prior to Jack’s 1994 retirement, he was inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. At the induction ceremony, he spoke of being around football his entire life and was blessed to make a living doing what he loves. It’s been a happy career and never dreamed that he would get this opportunity.

His dear friend Grover Jones called him one of the fiercest competitors he has ever known. Much of Jack’s career verifies that. The family would like to give a special thanks to some devoted friends that came to visit Jack often during his long illness – Leo Burke, Dick Beard, Bill Thornton, John Moody and Herb Alcorn. Also, special thanks are given to Wheatland Hills and Carilion Hospice for all their special care of Jack.

Visitation will be held at McCoy Funeral Home from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm on August 30, 2013 and the Memorial Service will be held on Aug 31, 2013 at 11:00am at Luther Memorial Lutheran Church at 600 Prices Fork Rd, Blacksburg, Virginia.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Blacksburg Rescue Squad, 200 Progress St. NE, Blacksburg, VA 24060, the Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, 600 Prices Fork Rd., Blacksburg, VA 24060 or the Virginia Tech Athletic Fund, PO Box 10307, Blacksburg, VA 24062.

Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.