Edward Adams Wilder “Ted” Pratt

PORTLAND – Ted Pratt died on May 5, 2020 at the age of 51. Born in Portland, he was a Mainer for life. Ted would often travel by train throughout the U.S.A., riding the rails coast to coast, then returning to Maine until the next trip. Ted’s life was tough, but truly heroic, as he battled daunting challenges. At the age of 3, he still couldn’t utter a word. In grammar school, he lost sight in one eye due to a detached retina. In his teens, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He ran away from Grove School, a private therapeutic boarding school in Connecticut, twice, bicycling all the way home to Maine. Ted worked with local psychologist Dr. Judson Smith, known as “Dr. Jud.” Dr. Jud helped Ted with behaviors that come easily to others, like how to make eye contact, how to read others’ social signals, how to fit in. He refused medications. By sheer grit and determination, Ted fashioned an independent life on his own terms, finding happiness and adventure. He became a survivor. He learned to play hockey at a summer camp at University of Maine in Orono, where Coach Shawn Walsh awarded Ted “most improved player” honors. Ted then graduated from Portland High School, having played on its hockey team. His graduation photo shows him with buttoned down shirt, navy sport coat and tie, curly blond hair, sparkling blue eyes, and a huge smile. Highly intelligent, Ted was mostly self-taught later in life, reading on his own, researching topics of interest in-depth, and taking occasional classes at the University of Maine. Over time, his schizophrenic symptoms disappeared, but he continued to suffer from mild Asperger’s symptoms. He found friends, and those who knew him understood and loved him. Jeffrey McCarthy, professor at the University of Utah, writes: “We got along. I felt lucky that Ted granted me neutrality – it was like he gave me family status and, since I didn’t judge him, he didn’t judge me. He was a ball of muscles and intense energy, all of which shined through his eyes when you got him to look up and laugh. But the world wasn’t ready for Ted, didn’t understand his gifts.” Becki Smith, of Portland, Maine, writes: “We loved Ted very much and were happy that he had found a way to live the life he wanted. He was such an exceptional person and I can’t imagine our lives without him. We loved his shy, sly smile. He was bright with a wonderful sense of humor and a big heart.”Always adventurous, he performed valiant feats that tested his limits, like bicycle trips from Portland to his grandparents’ home in North Norway. He once walked with his dog from Greenville to the Golden Road and then on logging roads to the family’s remote camps at Lobster Lake in the Maine wilderness. Another time, he then climbed up Spencer Mountain (north of Greenville) and, fearless, descended the steep far side into an untracked forest, then slogged miles through bug-infested swamps, somehow arriving at the Lobster Lake camps, mosquito-bit but alive. He could bear extreme hardship for a goal.Ted loved his dogs, learning everything, the Chicago Black Hawks hockey team, and especially Lobster Lake. He always wished to live in a cabin in the Maine woods. He was at the University of Maine at Orono when the pandemic closed the university and nearby businesses. He left Orono and traveled to Chicago, which unfortunately had become a hotspot for the coronavirus. For all his years, he graced the lives of his parents, S. Mason Pratt and Carol Copeland Pratt, of Portland and Saint Simons Island, Ga. Ted leaves behind his two brothers, who loved him dearly, Benjamin G. Pratt (and his wife Suzanna Eby Pratt), of Andover, Kan., and Stephan M. Pratt (and his wife, Manon LaPointe Pratt), of Pebble Beach, Calif.; Ben and Suzanna’s daughters, Caitlin Christine Pratt, of Dallas, Carolyn Michel Wingate (and her husband, Jason Wingate), and Amy Elizabeth Dieter, and grandchildren, Mason and Samuel Wingate, and Layla and Sophie Dieter, of Andover, Kan.; and Steph and Manon’s son, Phineas Henri Pratt, attending Bates College, and daughter, Sylvie Maris Pratt, attending New York University’s Tisch School.He also leaves his uncle, Robert Copeland (and his wife, Diane Copeland), of Deltona, Fla., and their daughter Kimberly Lenover (and her husband, Stanley Lenover), of Middleburg, Fla.; his aunt, Cynthia Watson (and her husband, Jon Watson), of Mechanicsville, Va., and their son, Christopher Watson and daughter, Sara Morris (and her husband, Robert Morris), of Mechanicsville, Va., and their children, Chase Morris and Jesse Morris, of Mechanicsville, Va., and Kacey O’Brien (and her husband, Kevin O’Brien), and their son, Raylan O’Brien, of Henrico, Va.; and cousins, Jeanette Roderick, of Norway, Barry Roderick (and his wife Denise Roderick), of Orlando, Fla., and their daughter, Brittany Birmingham (and her husband, Robert Birmingham), of Kansas City, Kan., and Deborah Bruno (and her husband, Dr. Felice Bruno), of El Paso, Texas, and their daughter, Natalie Bruno.A memorial service will be held for family and friends this summer in Portland, with lifetime family friend, Reverend Richard Colby, officiating.You may share your memories and offer your condolences at www.jonesrichandbarnes.com

Guest Book