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Ernest "Dick" Lowell Prater, Jr.
January 23, 1931 ~ May 16, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Obituary & Services
Ernest "Dick" Prater, Jr. Obituary
Ernest Lowell “Dick” Prater, Jr., age 92, of Wilkesboro, passed away Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at his home. Mr. Prater was born January 23, 1931 in Floyd County, Kentucky to Ernest Lowell Prater, Sr. and Effie Gayhart Prater. He was preceded in death by his parents; and his sister, Patty Adkins.
Dickie was one of the best set shot shooters of our time. He played his high school basketball for the Pikeville Panthers where he was an All-State Honorable Mention player in 1948. In 1949 he was selected to the All State first team as Pikeville had won the 15th Region and a game in the Sweet 16 before falling to St. X 58-48, where he was selected to the All Tourney team. In 1950 Mr. Prater again was an All State 1st team selection, winning in the finals of the district tournament and on the way again to the Regional tournament and heading back to the Sweet 16. Pikeville drew Paducah Tilghman in the first round, but lost to them in a close game. In his high school career, Dickie scored over 1800 points. He was awarded a scholarship to play at UK where he led the freshman team with a 19 ppg average. Shortly after he joined the Air Force where he played for four years. In 1956 he has averaged 29 ppg. After returning from four years in the service he went back to school but this time it was to South Carolina. He played regularly as a junior. As a senior in January, 1959 he was dropped from the team as he had a very hard time coming back from an ankle injury. Eventually he rejoined the team and completed his eligibility there, averaging 9.8 ppg. Dickie Prater was a 2015 inductee to the Kentucky Basketball Hall of Fame and #1 draft pick for the New York Knicks.
He enjoyed gardening, cats, dogs and loved rescuing animals.
Mr. Prater is survived by his spouse, Madra Prater; daughters, Wanda Lynn Prater of South Point, Ohio, Patricia Wells of Leesburg, Florida; son, Richard Alan Prater of Los Angeles, California; step-sons, David Simpson and spouse Kim of Big Canoe, Georgia, Michael Simpson and spouse Susan of Roland, Oklahoma; and sister, Billie Hodges of Kentucky.
Memorial service will be held 2:00 p.m. Thursday, May 25, 2023 at Miller Funeral Chapel with Pastor Justin Nash officiating. The family will receive friends at Miller Funeral Service from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, prior to the service. Inurnment will follow at Scenic Memorial Gardens Mausoleum. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Humane Society of Wilkes, PO Box 306, North Wilkesboro, NC 28659.