Friday, September 10, 2010

Thank You Margaret for your Volunteering for the Council

Margaret (Gaidosh) Pratt of Binghamton

Margaret (Gaidosh) Pratt went into the loving arms of the Lord, Monday September 6th, 2010, at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. Margaret was predeceased by her parents, Alexander and Fannie (Medwid) Gaidosh; her husband, Anton Thomas Pratt Sr.; her only son, Anton Thomas Pratt Jr.; her granddaughter, Lynne (Pratt) Kurutz; infant grandson, Phillip Pratt, Morgan Smart, Thomas Haen; her sisters, Anna Dragonetti, Mary VanBuskirk, Helen Nezelek, Jay Mrazek and Jaqueline. She is survived by her two daughters, Donna (Flynn) Haen and Laura (Pratt) Vlosky; one remaining sister, Gerry (Gaidosh) Kunkle; daughter-in-law, Barbara (Valence) Pratt; former son-in-law, Ed Vlosky; grandchildren, Anton Thomas Pratt III, Diane (Hoover) Pratt, Kelly (Flynn) Potak, Jake Potak, Pamela Flynn, Gamal Hampton, Megan (Flynn) Ferkol, Bryan Ferkol, Jimmy Flynn, Stephanie (Stine) Flynn, Anne (Vlosky) Layton, Chris Layton, Alexia Vlosky and Julie Vlosky; great-grandchildren, Dayne, Tarin and Tynan Pratt, Michael and Evan Kurutz, Alexandra and Sophia Potak and Harper Layton; sister-in-law, Rosemary Obrien; nephew, Robert Pratt; friend, David; and many loving nieces, nephews and friends. Margaret was born in Johnson City, NY on the 10th of October, 1918. Perhaps that's why she loved fall most. She grew up on 23 Wilson St. attending Woodrow Wilson School through the eighth grade. Her love of learning endured throughout her lifetime. Margaret worked in a factory to support the war effort during WWII, but everyone knew her as the drapery department diva at Philadelphia Sales on Clinton St. Learning the ropes from the best, Mary Shramek, she became a devoted and knowledgeable salesperson. She knew her inventory and just what looked classy if anyone wanted her opinion, which she probably gave anyway. Later she was promoted to buyer in the lamp department. No family's home was bereft of the latest "window treatments" with Marge around. Never really a gardener, she nevertheless loved flowers and the green hills we watched on the long rides to the Beaverkill and "the barn." It was just that, a barn, until she and Anton worked to make it the best cottage ever! Many friends and family helped as well. Of course, she was fussier than he liked, but that was Marge. She insisted on the right kitchen curtains and he fished. When in its heyday, family members, fishing buddies and a myriad friends and neighbors streamed in and out. She made sure the kids always had three squares and no one ever left hungry or thirsty. Not a good swimmer, her goal every summer was to make it across the river. She was a good daughter-in-law and sister-in-law. She took our Grandma for groceries almost every week. She set Aunt Minnie's hair on Saturday nights. Trips to the cemetery to plant geraniums on the graves at St Cyril's are remembered, fondly. Her God and her church were important in her life and that faith filled her home. Sundays held no ironing or sewing. Churchgoing was mandatory. She was a member of St. Cyril's, Ladies Club and Holy Rosary Society. She was a devoted volunteer for CHOW for many years. She was a hard worker in the hall kitchen, traveled to choose the auction quilt and volunteered for Friday night bingo. Her life with Anton was traditional for that time. He went fishing on weekends, returning on Sunday to her famous mile high lemon meringue pie. She bowled on Friday nights at St Cyril's and later with Anton in a mixed league. They shared life for sixty-one years. They danced at weddings with him always complaining she wanted to lead. They sang duets as he played his banjo. There were the drives to Aunt Annie's on Sundays for Uncle Albert spaghetti. He called her "Magritz" in his thick Italian accent. Trips to Aunt Helen and Aunt Mary's were common. They shared joy, sadness, love and life. But it was her role as grandmother that defined her more than any other. If you look in the dictionary for the word "Grandmother," you will find a picture of Margaret Pratt. Her unrelenting love and devotion to her grandchildren was, in their words, "unparalleled." Be it be her time, money, advice, discipline, guidance or laughter they needed, it was provided. Memories of Easter egg hunts in the back yard, original bedtime stories spun by her and countless games in the kitchen abound in their heads. Christmas was presents, but also cookies, cookies everywhere! Her baking at holidays was epic. She was never hungry, just in case someone else might be with one remaining piece of pizza. She always put them first. Precious bingo games were swept aside for spur of the moment visits, early sleep put off until all were safe in the house and later her mantra at dinner time was, "Go buy whatever you want. I'll give you the money." Somewhat imperfect, we all agree that nobody gave a "dirty look" like Margaret, yet it was her capacity to love and forgive any and all of us, that in the end will be the marker of her life. Her willingness to change her opinions and attitudes for the love of her family was constant, her generosity unsparing. Her strength at the end was a sign of how she lived her life. She is forever in our hearts as mother, grandmother, friend. God Bless you Margie. "Her laugh was loose and young." -- Toni MorrisonA funeral Mass will be offered 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 11th, 2010, at St. Cyril & Method Church, Binghamton. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Friends may call at the Walter D. Sullivan & Son Funeral Home, Inc., 45 Oak Street, Binghamton, NY Friday from 5 to 8 p.m.
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin from September 9 to September 10, 2010

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