After James and Cecil Prater lost their daughter in a drowning accident, Cecil Prater felt the only way to heal her broken heart was to have another child. On May 16, 1937, James and Cecil were blessed with what would ultimately be their last child. Samuel James Prater was born in a small farm house in Maramec, Oklahoma.
Sam grew up in the Cleveland area with the exception of a few years during his childhood when his parents moved to Benicia, California. As a child, Sam worked with his parents on their farm, which they called Twin Cedars. He loved his horses and hanging out with his dad and Uncle Sam on Main Street in Cleveland selling melons. After graduating from high school in Cleveland, Oklahoma, Sam took a job as a lineman in the world of construction.
While working in Louisiana, on May 2, 1958 he went to his boss house where he met an outgoing and vivacious young lady named Peggy Turner. Twenty eight days later, on May 30, 1958 the two were joined in marriage at Peggys parents home in Beirne, Arkansas. Sam continued to work in construction as the newlyweds moved around to numerous states. On March 10 1962 Sam made a decision to take a permanent job and moved to Fairfax, Oklahoma where he was employed with Indian Electric. It was a significant cut in pay, but Sam wanted to provide stability and a permanent home for his growing family.
During his working years, Sam also became a journeyman lineman and ran his own business, which he called Prater Electric in his off hours. He retired from Indian Electric on June 25, 1998 after 36 years of employment. Sam was always known for his dedication and love to his wife and 3 children, his hard work and his loyalty to his family and friends. He always said, A man is only as good as his word and if he gave you his word, he was always true to it.
Besides his love for his family, Sams next joy in life was his 1957 Pontiac. He took great pride in participating in parades in the Fairfax area, attending car shows and even won Nationals in his division in Colorado. He always enjoyed camping and vacationing with his family, visiting with his friends and talking about the good ole days growing up in Cleveland, Oklahoma. He was a member of the First Osage Baptist Church, the Masonic Lodge, Classic Cars of Ponca City and the National Pontiac Club.
On January 3, 2011 after more than 3 years of battling cancer, the Lord took mercy on him and released Sam from his worldly body to be with Him. He passed away in his home with his loving wife, Peggy, by his side.
Sam is survived by his wife, Peggy, of the home 3 children, Nancy Brown of Texas, David Prater, of Davis, Oklahoma and Paula McInturf of Fairfax 7 grandchildren, Lacey Brown, Ssgt Christopher Brown, David McInturf, Tyler McInturf, Samantha McInturf, Dylan Prater and Kelsey Prater 4 great grandchildren, Keegan Brown, Braelie McInturf, Lillie Brown and Olive McInturf with another greatgranddaughter due in April 2011 2 sisters, Linow Hoskins of Great Falls, Montana and Louise Ijames of Fairfield, California and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James and Cecil Louisa Johns Prater 1 brother, Robert Elijah Prater and 3 sisters, Lucille Lowe, Betty Jane Feland and Julia Zorn.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, January 6, 2011 at the First Osage Baptist Church in Fairfax. Interment will follow in the Woodland Cemetery at Cleveland, Oklahoma. Arrangements are under the direction of the HunsakerWooten Funeral Home of Fairfax.
Casket bearers will be David Anthony McInturf, Carl Daley, James Martin, Ray Johnson, Dylan Prater and David Wesley Nungester. Honorary casket bearers will be Raymond Renfro, Riley Norton, Bill Munford, Max Womack, Ron Shipman and his Cleveland High School Class of 1955.