Colonel (U.S. Army, Retired) Patricia Fair Prather, aged 72, died Wednesday, March 23, 2021 with her sister, Chris Yeager, by her side. Pat was living in Fayetteville, NC at the Autumn Care Assisted Living facility where she was cared for by a loving and supportive staff.
Pat was born March 23, 1949 in Fort Belvoir, VA to Lewis D. Prather and Caroline Summers Prather. She graduated from Lee High School in Springfield, VA where she was chosen to be Springfield's representative in the Experiment in International Living program. This was the beginning of a life of travel and a love for Germany. She went on to graduate in 1971 with a BS in Nursing from Duke University. It was during this time that she met a group of ladies that would become lifelong friends. She spent five years as a civilian nurse at Duke University Medical Center and the Atlanta VA Medical center before joining the Army in 1976 with a direct commission as a Captain. She completed both the AMEDD Officer Basic and Advanced Course and was recognized as the Outstanding Honor Graduate. In 1981, she graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Masters in Nursing Administration.
Her military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with five oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with 3 leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Order of Military Merit. Throughout Pat’s career and assignments to different bases, including two tours in Germany, she always made time to get involved in church, local choral groups and to stay close to her family and friends. Family reunions and beach trips to Litchfield, SC were the source of many great memories for friends and family.
After retiring in February 2003, Pat decided to stay in Columbia, SC where she was the primary caregiver for her mother. She was an active member of Kathwood Baptist Church where she enjoyed singing in the choir and serving as a deacon. She was also a member of the Columbia Choral Society. Pat later moved to Fayetteville, NC to be closer to her sister, Chris Yeager, who was her primary caregiver. Pat loved her career in nursing, her family, and her dear friends. Her zest for life and joy in singing made her special to all who knew and loved her.
Pat’s lifelong friends from Duke and her early nursing career received the nickname “Cronettes” from her father, Col. Lewis Prather. Her Duke “roomies” include Linda Rumold of Hamilton, GA, Barbara Nims of New York City and Owl’s Head Maine, and Anne Boyle (Richard) of Richmond, VA. Ruth Deloor (Alex Watson) and Maxine Maher-Albertelli (Richard Albertelli) of Atlanta, GA worked with Pat at the Atlanta VA and became honorary “Cronettes”, getting together at regular intervals and supporting each other through significant life events. Pat also remained very close to the Saar’s and Rupp’s, her exchange family. She lovingly referred to them as her Germany family and always enjoyed their calls, letters and packages with special German treats.
Pat was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s in 2014 and courageously lived out her final years with the same faith, dignity and compassion for her fellow man that she demonstrated throughout her life. Pat leaves us with a legacy of love for her family and friends, her faith, and caring for others. Now she is reunited in God’s loving arms
Pat was predeceased by her parents, Lewis and Caroline Prather of Columbia, SC, and her brother, Doug Prather, of Durham, NC. She is survived by her sisters Christine Yeager (William) of Fayetteville, NC, and Nell Staes (Charles) of Beaufort, SC; her nieces and nephews, Jenny Kaplan (Jordan) and their children Benjamin, Harper and Everette of Washington DC, Caroline Yeager of Greenville, SC, Cameron Yost (Jacob) and their son, James, of Charleston, SC, William Yeager (McKendree) of Hollywood, CA, and Lewis Stover (Kate) of Atlanta GA.
A graveside service for family and close friends of Patricia Fair Prather will be held at 3:00 PM Saturday, March 27, 2021 at Greenlawn Memorial Park, Columbia, South Carolina
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Kathwood Baptist Church at 4900 Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC 29206
Online condolences may be sent to http://www.jerniganwarren.com
Services entrusted to Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St., Fayetteville, NC 28301
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