Obituary for Maryrose Pratter (Lavin)
Surrounded by the love of family and close friends, Maryrose Pratter passed away peacefully on January 29, 2017 at Bloomington Hospital, just short of her 96th birthday. Maryrose Lavin Pratter was born February 13, 1921 in Buffalo, New York to Benjamin Lavin and Bessie Fox Lavin. Growing up in Buffalo with her elder sister, Sylvia, Maryrose attended public schools. She distinguished herself as a dancer and athlete, playing golf competitively. Toward the end of the Great Depression, Maryrose enrolled in Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, and graduated with a degree in Physical Education. When the United States entered World War II, Maryrose went to work as a Rosie the Riveter, bucking rivets in the Curtiss-Wright aircraft factory in Buffalo. Around that time, Maryrose met her future husband, Harry Pratter. They were married February 7, 1943, just before Harry shipped out for the Pacific. After the War, Maryrose worked as the recreation director for the nurses at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago while her husband attended the University of Chicago Law School. Maryrose came to Bloomington in 1950 when Harry took up his post as a professor in the Indiana University School of Law. While raising three sons, Maryrose was a substitute gym teacher for the Monroe County Public Schools, the co-owner of the Windfall Shop on South Walnut St., and the co-owner of The Gallery art gallery on Grant St. at Kirkwood Ave. Later, Maryrose volunteered as a docent at the Indiana University Museum of Art. Maryrose had master’s degrees in both Physical Education and Accounting from Indiana University, where she also did graduate-level study in English Literature. She will be remembered fondly as a creative and innovative cook, and a master gardener. She was wise, nurturing, caring, and loving. Maryrose Pratter was a great woman, wife, mother, and friend from the Greatest Generation. It is impossible to capture everything Maryrose meant to so many people, friends as well as family.
Maryrose is survived by her sons Jonathan of Austin, Texas and Daniel of Bloomington, her daughter-in-law, Lillette Wood, M.D., and grandchildren, Sarah of Los Angeles, Rachel of Fort Worth, and David of San Antonio, Texas. She was preceded in death by Harry Pratter, her husband of 58 years, and her son, Benjamin. Memorial contributions can be made to the Foundation of Monroe County Community Schools to help at-risk children of Templeton Elementary School and to maintain the Templeton Memorial Garden that Maryrose designed for the students at Templeton Elementary School. Gifts can be mailed to FMCCS, 315 North Drive, Bloomington, IN, 47401 or online at www.mccsfoundation.org.