Benny William Prater Funeral Services for Benny W. Prater age 84, of Clearwater were Friday, August 14, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. at Concordia Lutheran Church in Clearwater with Pastor Feusse, Officiating. Pallbearers were Jack Prater, Steve Patras, Dennis Herely, Gordon Hagge, Kevin Fry, and Steve Hankla. Honorary Pallbearers were Fred Nolze, Orval Hankla, Ralph Tichota, Roger Pofahl, Duaine Filsinger, and Gordon Rittscher. Burial was in Clearwater Cemetery in Clearwater, Nebraska. Military Rites were conducted by the American Legion Post #267 of Clearwater. Visitation was Thursday, August 13, 2009, 5 to 8 p.m. at Snider Memorial Funeral Home in Clearwater.
Mr. Prater passed away Sunday, August 9, 2009 at the Nebraska Veterans Home in Grand Island, Nebraska.
Benny William Prater was born on March 13, 1925 to Ross and Murna (Patras) Prater in Council Bluffs, IA. He was baptized August 18, 1939 and confirmed on August 15, 1948 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Clearwater. Benny attended Clearwater Public School graduating with the class of 1943. Benny enlisted in the United States Army in July of 1943. He took Basic Training at Fort McClellan, Alabama and was assigned to Company E of the 145th Infantry Battalion of the 37th Division. From January of 1944 to November 1945 he was in the South Pacific where he was on the islands of Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and Luzon. In February of 1945, he was awarded the bronze star for his actions in combat on Luzon. Benny was united in marriage to Ruth Kruger on October 29, 1947 in Grand Island. Benny made a life time career as a car salesman serving northeast Nebraska. He was employed by Contois Motors for 46 years and Blair Motors for two years. Benny was an active member of the Clearwater Fire and Rescue squad for many years in which he was an EMT and served as Fire Chief for over 25 years. He was a member of American Legion Post 267 for 62 continuous years. He was a member of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce and the 37th Division Veteran's Association. Benny spent many happy hours outdoors hunting and fishing with friends and family. He enjoyed his children and grandchildren's activities and was willing to try just about anything they could talk him into. He was a favorite trickster and entertained countless kids with his jeep and pony rides.
Benny is survived by his wife Ruth of Clearwater, his daughter Benita and husband Danny Beutler of Clearwater, son Tracy and wife Cindy of Elgin, son Kelly and wife Lori of Lincoln. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Meredith Schwager and husband Shane, Wes and Ivy Prater, Brock, Ben and Bo Prater, and two great grand children, Violet and Gabriel Schwager. Benny is survived by one sister, Jeannine Corder and husband Merlin of Hanford CA as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Benny was preceded in death by his parents and a step father, Roy Stevens.