Joyce K. Pratt, 1936-2020
YOUNGSTOWN — Joyce K. Pratt, 84, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, at Liberty Health Care Center in Youngstown.
Joyce was born the youngest of eight children in 1936 to Gabriel (Harry) Kiddon and Antonia Repela Kiddon of Ellwood City, Pa. The family moved shortly thereafter to Struthers, when her father got a job with the steel mill.
Joyce graduated from Struthers High School in 1954. She began her working career in manufacturing, wire-wrapping circuit boards for Westinghouse. She then took a job as a ward clerk for the Youngstown Hospital Association. This was to be the first of many roles in healthcare for Joyce.
Joyce married Roy J. Pratt, also of Struthers, shortly after high school. Roy’s service in the U.S. Air Force took them to Topeka, Kan., where the first of their six children were born. It was there her talent for turning acquaintances into friends began; she remained in contact with many of their military-made friends throughout her lifetime.
Joyce and Roy returned to Ohio and settled in Vienna north of Youngstown. Joyce had six children during her marriage to Roy: David, Daniel, Roy, Brian, Karen and Debbie.
Following the birth of her children, Joyce returned to the workforce in health care as a nursing assistant for Shepherd of the Valley. Providing care to the young entering life, and to the elderly leaving life seemed to be more of a calling for Joyce than a career. Caring in general was a central theme of her life; she not only cared for her family, but also found the time and energy to help care for others.
Joyce was the consummate “Proud Mom” for her large and diverse brood. Whether it was Girl Scouts or band concerts, football games or Boy Scouts, little league baseball or school science fairs, she was involved. She was active in the local school’s PTA, and did fund raising for virtually every club, team and worthy cause that asked. With six children covering nearly 24 years of schooling she rarely ever missed a game or event, and we noticed.
Joyce was devastated by the loss of her second son, Daniel, a Los Angeles police officer killed in the line of duty in 1988. Within a year she was stunned again with the loss of her grandson, Daniel’s son, Nicholas, and more recently the loss of her great-grandson, Braeden. While always a woman of faith these events served to deepen Joyce’s faith and resolve to be a positive influence in the life of others, and she was.
Joyce was known by many for being an avid collector of just about anything; she rarely passed up a garage sale, yard sale or clearance sale anywhere. She was the last one to arrive at an event and usually the last one to leave — often because she was helping to clean up. She always looked forward to her annual Struthers class reunions to reconnect with her high school friends.
She was a devout Christian who got her baptism in the Russian Orthodox church of her family and continued her worship throughout the balance of her life at Pleasant Valley Evangelical Church in Niles. Her family of believers were as near and dear to her heart as was her faith.
Joyce was preceded in death by her son, Daniel; grandson, Nicholas; sisters, Mary, Anne and Olga; and brothers, Michael and Steve.
She leaves her sons, David (Elizabeth) Pratt of Sharpsville, Roy (Joyce) Pratt of Vienna and Brian (Patty) Pratt of Valencia; daughters, Karen Reed of Austintown and Debbie (Bob) Hudak of Lowellville; and sisters, Vera Pellegrini of Canfield and Pearl (Bob) Tablack of Youngstown.
The family would like to thank the staff at Windsor House, Liberty Health Care for their wonderful care during the past four years. As said above, you were not acquaintances, you were Joyce’s friends. Joyce’s favorite place to donate was the Youngstown Rescue Mission; the family kindly requests any memoriam be directed there.
Calling hours will be 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, at Kirila Funeral Home, Inc., 258 Poland Ave., Struthers, followed by a service at 7 p.m., also at the funeral home.
Due to COVID-19, safety precautions will be taken. The 6-foot rule will be honored, and we kindly ask that all guests whose health allows, please wear a mask. For the health and safety of everyone, we ask that visitors do not linger at the funeral home after paying your respects unless if you are staying for the service.