Josephus Pratt

Obituary of Josephus L. Pratt

Due to impending weather, Funeral Services for Josephus L. Pratt have been rescheduled to Friday, January 28th. His Funeral Service will be offered Friday morning, January 28th at 11 o'clock from St. Peter's United Methodist Church, Eighth Street at Central Avenue, Ocean City, NJ where friends may call from 9:30 am until the time of service. Mr. Pratt's service will be livestreamed on St. Peter's Church Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/makingwaveschurch or by clicking on the livestream link on the left of his webpage. Josephus L. Pratt of Marmora, New Jersey went home to be with his Heavenly Father the morning of Sunday, January16, 2022. Joe held on for his wife, Eleanor, to be by his side as he was received by the Lord. Joe was born in Miami, Florida to Josephus and Mildred (Holsey) Pratt. He was raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he attended Schenley High School. It was there that he met his wife of 58 years, Eleanor Shaw Valentine. After Joe graduated from high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served our country for 20 years (1958-1978). During his 20-year career in the United States Army, Joe served two tours in Vietnam, achieving the highest rank of Captain and accomplishing the title of Paratrooper which led to his becoming a Jumpmaster Instructor; a Green and Maroon Beret; received 6 Service Stripes and completed Officer’s Candidate School. Many other distinguished honors received by Joe included: 2 Purple Hearts; 2 Bronze Medals, a Silver Star; Vietnam Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Parachutist Badge and Combat Infantryman Badge.(truly the embodiment of what it meant to be a “Sky Soldier.”) After Joe’s first career in the United States Army, he found one of his many careers in Atlantic City’s Casino Industry. Again, he excelled, starting as a dealer of multiple games. He became a Floor Person, Pit Boss and later opened the first casino in Detroit, Michigan. Later Joe was diagnosed with COPD after what he thought was complete retirement. Unknowingly, this was the beginning of his new life’s mission and purpose. This journey led him to having a double lung transplant, which was performed at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Through that experience, he formed a relationship with The Gift of Life, an advocate for organ and tissue donations. After being given a second extension on a new life and a fresh breath, he became an active volunteer for the Gift of Life. Using that newfound life to do multiple speaking engagements, he touched the lives of thousands in the South Jersey and Philadelphia region at high schools, churches, and one-on-one interviews. Joe became an ambassador for what organ and tissue donation by way of transplantation looked like. Temple University Hospital and Temple Lung Center wanted to share his journey by exclusively featuring him in a television commercial as well as a billboard on Broad Street. Joe was Co-President of the Ocean City Ecumenical Council. Along with being a Lay Speaker and Music Director, he was an active member and participant of Macedonia United Methodist Church and an affiliate member of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church. Joe’s ministry extended to many people in Ocean City and beyond through the billboard at Macedonia UMC. Many people drove and walked by each week to see what words and thoughts of wisdom and encouragement were there. Joe was a lover of music, an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan, enjoyed sports of all types and had a love for BBQ and blues with an occasional sip of Gentleman Jack. Surviving are his wife, Eleanor Shaw Valentine; daughters: Joselle Pratt and Lá Sans Shippen; Grandchildren: Adam-Michael Pratt and Sarah Shippen; a granddaughter in-law: Rebecca Ramos-Pratt; Cousins: Debra Barr, Darnella Wilson and daughter Tamandra “Finney” Travillion, George Wilson Jr., Pam Wilson, Miriam Pratt-Glover and Michael Glover. He also leaves behind a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and was excited with expectations of meeting his first great grandson. Joe was always ready and willing to say yes in teaching, leading and being an example. He will forever be loved, admired, respected, and looked upon as a source of inspiration. The epitome of a Gentle-Man and a hero, Joe lives on in our hearts and will be missed. His Funeral Service will be offered Friday morning, January 28th at 11 o'clock from St. Peter's United Methodist Church, Eighth Street at Central Avenue, Ocean City, NJ where friends may call from 9:30 am until the time of service. Mr. Pratt's service will be livestreamed on St. Peter's Church Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/makingwaveschurch or by clicking on the livestream link on the left of his webpage. Military honors will be assigned at graveside at Cape May County Veterans Cemetery following the service Memorial contributions in his name may be made to either Gift of Life Family House, 401 Callowhill St., Philadelphia, PA 19123 or online at www.GiftofLifeFamilyHouse.org" or VFW Post #6650, 1501 Bay Avenue, Ocean City, NJ 08226.
Friday
28
January

Memorial Visitation at Main Service

9:30 am - 11:00 am
Friday, January 28, 2022
St. Peter's United Methodist Church
501 East Eighth Street
Ocean City, New Jersey, United States
Friday
28
January

Memorial Service

11:00 am
Friday, January 28, 2022
St. Peter's United Methodist Church
501 East Eighth Street
Ocean City, New Jersey, United States
Friday
28
January

Final Resting Place

12:30 pm
Friday, January 28, 2022
Cape May County Veterans Cemetery
127 Crest Haven Road
Cape May Court House, New Jersey, United States
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