Jonathan William Pratt entered into eternal peace on February 13, 2009. He was 23.
Friends are invited to call at Cornerstone Christian Church, 183 Schoolhouse Road, Guilderland from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 21, 2009. Funeral services will follow at Cornerstone, officiated by Pastor Gareth Gilpin. Burial will be in the Fairview Cemetery in Altamont in the spring.
"Jon William Pratt was an amazing talent, friend, and a true artist. He devoted himself to his art wholeheartedly - as well as his friends', always there when you needed him whether you asked him to or not - the kind that spoke his mind profoundly, good or bad. A spiritual person, like his soul, his music was deep and real and his poems the same," a friend wrote in tribute.
Another wrote, "Jon lived a rich and fulfilling 23 years. He met failures and successes, suffered trials and tribulations, endured agonies and ecstasies; he rode a motorcycle from New York to Florida; he flew airplanes; he worked in Hollywood studios; he was a musical prodigy and a passionate singer; he was an academic standout, an enthusiastic poet, an overachiever whose goals were even too high for himself."
Born in Albany on January 1, 1986, he was the son of Debra and William Pratt, and spent his early years in Guilderland. At age 7, his family moved to Altamont, the village he considered his home.
Jonathan attended Altamont Elementary School through fifth grade, and then completed his secondary education at Christian Brothers Academy in Albany, where he was captain in the Junior ROTC and graduated as a Presidential Scholar in May of 2004.
He was a member at Lynnwood Reformed Church in Guilderland where he was baptized and confirmed. He later became a worship leader for the youth service, and played guitar on the adult worship team at Christ's Church of the Capital District in Guilderland.
Jonathan spent many summers attending Fowler Camp and Retreat Center in Speculator, N.Y. He loved the Adirondacks and appreciated God's creation. He loved kayaking, canoeing, hiking, and wilderness adventures. He spent two summers as a Student Working in Ministry at Camp Fowler.
Throughout high school, he applied his innate ability with animals working at Acres Meadowdale Animal Inn in Guilderland Center. His favorite dogs were Australian sheep dogs, as bounding with energy and zeal for life as was he.
At an early age, Jon developed a love for flight. In fourth and fifth grades, he attended NASA's Space Camp in Cape Canaveral. After high school, he pursued his dream of becoming a pilot at Florida Institute of Technology where he soloed, but left for medical reasons in January of 2005.
He also attended the University at Albany, where he studied poetry, journalism, and writing. He frequented the Thacher Park overlook and Mohawk Canal locks where he spent many hours each day engaged in journaling his thoughts and observations of life.
His motorcycle trip to Florida during spring break 2006 inspired his first book of poetry, "The Virginia Acid Rain Experiment."
Jonathan began his musical career at age 7, studying piano under Agnes Armstrong. He formed his first band while in high school and made his first professional recording with Tarpon Trees, while a student at Florida Tech.
In March of 2007, he was invited to Hollywood, Calif., by the band The Hills as their organ player and pianist. A consummate writer, he chronicled his experiences and, upon his return to New York, he birthed another book of poetry, "Life in Radioland."
In the summer of 2008, Jon formed the band Heavy Water with his former band mates from The Hills. Heavy Water recently played shows in Manhattan and Long Island to rave reviews.
He is survived by his parents, of Rotterdam; his sister, Cassandra Pratt of Guilderland; his aunts, Susan Deprez of Annandale, Va., Lucinda Uhorchak and her husband, John, of Cornwall, N.Y., and Janice VanHouten of Gilbertsville; his uncles, Michael Walker of Unadilla, N.Y. and Andrew Pratt of Norwich; his grandmother, Barbara Walker, of Sidney and his grandfather, Dowell Pratt, of Norwich.
He is also survived by cousins, Nicholas Uhorchak, of Fort Hood, Texas; Jacqueline, and Andrew Uhorchak of Cornwall, N.Y., Amanda and David Deprez of Annandale, Va., and Jessica Crisell of Norwich, Michelle Schwartz of Sidney, and Steven Walker of Fort Bliss, Texas. Also, Joshua VanHouten, Stephanie Pratt, and Dakota VanHouten of, N.Y.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Fowler Camp and Retreat Center Capital Campaign Fund, in care of the Regional Synod of Albany, 1790 Grand Blvd., Schenectady, N.Y. 12309.