Aloysius (Al) William Pratt passed away at his home on his ranch north of Billings, Montana on April 17. Al was born May 31, 1930 in Youngstown, Ohio to Aloysius Jerome Pratt and Augusta (Meiers) Pratt. He was raised in Youngstown with his older sister Aggie and attended catholic school as a child. He graduated in 1948 from Chaney High School in Youngstown with honors. He was also class president, a member of the Ancient Order of Alchemists and participated in the class play. After high school Al joined the United States Navy in August 1948 where he was based in San Diego on the USS Bairoko and USS Curtiss until he was honorably discharged in August 1949. He was concurrently transferred to the Naval Reserve for another six years. Al then went to Youngstown State University where he graduated in the class of 1952 with a BS in Electrical Engineering and would later receive a Masters from The Case Institute- Western Reserve University.
After college Al went to work for Jack & Heintz Co. in Cleveland, Ohio where he met his wife Eleanor Alley. They were married October 16, 1954 at Our Lady Of Peace in Cleveland, Ohio. They moved to New Carlisle, Ohio in 1959 where Al worked for Leland Airborne Products until 1964. Al and Eleanor bought a farm just outside New Carlisle in 1963 where Al designed and then manufactured electrical components for small gas engines for Kohler. They built a new building in New Carlisle to expand their new business, A.W. Pratt, Inc., and would later move it to Glasgow, Montana in 1973 where they would continue until selling out in 2003. Al and Eleanor bought Rock Creek Ranch north of Hinsdale, Montana in 1972 from Harvey Jones to pursue Al’s true love of ranching. Al especially loved Arabian horses. He and Eleanor purchased their second ranch, Basin Ranch, north of Billings, Montana in 1993. After they sold A.W. Pratt, Inc. they moved to Billings to operate Basin Ranch full time. Al also continued to operate Rock Creek Ranch and the farm in Ohio until his passing.
Al was a great man of principle and strong ethics. The devout Catholic never strayed from doing the right thing. He was a rancher at heart, but succeeded at everything everything he did. He was a brilliant engineer and had several patents in his name during his lifetime.
He was preceded in death by his father Aloysius Jerome and mother Augusta, sister Aggie Kirkendahl and his wife of over 57 years at the time of her passing a year and a half before him. He is also survived by his daughter Lizbeth Pratt (Resnick) of France, son Bill Pratt of Hinsdale, Montana, son Tom Pratt of Phoenix, Arizona, grandchildren Preston Blakeley, Cassandra Pratt, Alexandra Pratt and Thomas Pratt, his dedicated caregivers Emie and Virginia, and his beloved horse Gus and dog Abby.