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In Memoriam - Helen Hughes Prater - 1912-2011

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Old 03-13-2011, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
Posts: 2,078
Default In Memoriam - Helen Hughes Prater - 1912-2011

It is with a heavy heart that I report the sad news of the passing, this afternoon in Littleton, Colorado, of Helen Hughes Prater. Known and loved by literally hundreds of river people, "Miss Helen" graciously touched countless lives with her kindness, wit and warmth throughout her 98 years on this earth. The daughter of Capt. Jesse Paul Hughes and Telia Vaughan Hughes, she was born September 3, 1912 at Catlettsburg, Kentucky on the beautiful Ohio River that she came to love so much. She was happiest on the deck of a steamboat, or at the keyboard of a piano, where she brought joy to many with her gift of music.

It has been my great privilege and honor to know "Miss Helen" since I was a teenager. From the first time I met her, over four decades ago, she was one of those river people who were always more than 'happy to give', and her friendship and love greatly enriched my life. To me, she was like the tv commercial "Energizer Bunny", who kept on going no matter what adversity came her way. Indeed, she was an inspiration to all who were privileged to know her and be counted among her multitude of friends.

Miss Helen was preceded in death by her parents, husband USAF Col. Burnice E. Prater (1988), son Robert H. Prater (2001), and sister Lillian Hughes (1938) who was hostess on the Str. GORDON C. GREENE. She is survived by son Richard H. Prater (Nancy), daughter Lillian Prater Smith (Forrest), eight grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren.

Dick Prater asked me to convey that an announcement will be made at a later date concerning a memorial service, which will take place in Louisville at the Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.

Until we meet again, a long and loud whistle salute to Helen Hughes Prater, truly a grand lady of the river!

(1) Miss Helen aboard the DQ with (left) Dick & Nancy Prater and Forrest & Lillian Prater Smith
(2) "On deck" aboard the DQ.
(3) Miss Helen with her beloved DELTA QUEEN - Madison, Indiana - 1993
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Name:	Hughes Prater family on DQ 2001.jpg
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Name:	Helen P on deck of DQ.JPG
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Name:	Helen P with DQ at Madison, IN  1993.jpg
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