Frank William Pratt
December 15, 2021
With broken hearts we share the devastating news of the sudden loss on December 15th of Frank, who had been blessed with excellent health until very recently. Frank was a beloved husband and partner of Diane for over 56 years, a loving and supportive Dad/Papa to Tracy, Lindsay, Bryan and Quinn and father-in-law to Mark, Sue and Laurie, a doting and proud Grandpa/Grampy to Bryce, Rayne, Mason, Ryder and Raigan and a special brother to Dave and brother-in-law to Fran. Frank was pre-deceased by his parents Frank Sr. and Claire and granddaughter Gwendalyn.
Family, and maintaining family traditions, were the singular most important aspects of his life. Retiring in his mid-50s, he devoted his retirement to his family, their well-being, their education, their advancement and their wardrobe (it gave him great joy to shop for family members, finding unique, colourful clothing and watches to perfectly suit individuals). Although COVID-19 brought disappointing restrictions, he embraced the world of Zoom, long walks, crossword puzzles and socially distanced hugs. His love for, and fierce loyalty to, his family and close friends were never in doubt.
As “snowbirds” for over 20 years, Frank and Diane shared a colourful second home and community in Pelican Bay, Naples, Florida. Frank loved the location – with the beach, restaurants and concert venue within walking distance – the weather, running on the beach for years and then biking the berm (and, yes, the Miromar outlet mall). Frank and Diane thoroughly enjoyed their lives in the south, but the highlight always was family visits – of which there were many over the years.
He had an enduring fondness for Disney World, a place Diane and he visited countless times with their children as they were growing up. Then, at the beginning of 2012, it was the venue for an amazing once-in-a-lifetime vacation with the entire immediate family – 14 in all! Once he found something he liked, he never tired of it (which also explains the 50 boxes of cereal he would bring back with him to London from the U.S. every spring). Musical theatre, concerts and travel with family also became adored activities. Frank was an avid sports player and vocal sports fan throughout his life. Many family members shared his passion. For decades, sporting events were a regular family activity. The last time the family was together on Thanksgiving weekend, he was on the beach at Port Stanley playing a game of Bocce ball.
Frank was raised in Brantford. He met Diane and several cherished friends when he attended the University of Western Ontario. He graduated from the Ivey Business School in 1964. Frank and Diane raised their family in London, enjoying many summer visits to Long Point and Toronto, and traveling Canada. They built tight community ties in the neighbourhood in which they have lived for over 50 years, at Metropolitan United Church’s Couples Club Plus, through their respective careers and through their children’s and grandchildren’s lives.
Frank enjoyed a fulfilling and successful career at Canada Trust in various senior leadership (ultimately Sr. VP) and mentoring roles within marketing and, just prior to the merger with TD, strategic development. It was meaningful for Frank that he worked for a Canadian company. He was a creative, meticulous, and principled individual who charted his own path. For years, he was known as the “sweater guy”. Mentored initially by J. Allyn Taylor, in his professional life, Frank lived the expectations he had for others and fostered a team environment with lots of room for laughter. Frank conceived of, and helped implement, several innovative marketing campaigns including “8 to 8, 6 days straight”, win a car give-aways and a collaboration with Johnny Cash respecting Canada Trust’s “Johnnycash” ATM.
With a strong commitment to community service and equality issues, Frank dedicated extensive time and leadership skills to charitable organizations including the then YMCA-YWCA, and Goodwill. He was a strong supporter of UWO and was thrilled that so many family members were graduates or current students.
Although stubborn, and often inflexible, he also was whimsical (countless unique stuffed animals live in his homes), humourous, chatty and caring. He loved Christmas. It was the time of year when many family activities would be planned, songs would be sung, colourful lights would shine everywhere and generous gifts would be exchanged. The family’s foundation has been rocked to its core this Christmas, and we ache with sadness. But we will bond together knowing that life is precious and Frank/Dad/Papa/Grandpa/Grampy lives always in our hearts and memories.
There will be a private family celebration of life. Donations in memory of Frank can be gratefully directed to Ark Aid Street Mission, www.arkaidmission.com, 696 Dundas Street, London, N5W2Z4.
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Diane, our deepest condolences to you and your family. We will always remember Frank, from daily his walks through the neighbourhood. Frank always had a friendly smile and waved as he walked and chatted with his family.
"My deepest condolences to Diane and family. I'm one of the many, many people whose lives and careers were molded and improved by Frank throughout his years at Canada Trust. He was truly meticulous. He hired me on the spot in 1986, when, in answer to his interview question about whether I had an eye for detail, I pointed out a typo on the employee application form. Later, he gave me several big opportunities to advance my career and even after retiring, he showed genuine interest in me. Frank was a giant in Canadian banking and led his people and his company to extraordinary successes. He was such an impressive guy! It's wonderful to read about his corresponding brilliance as a family man. Dave Dineen"
"Dear Di and family, Our hearts go out to you and to your entire family at Frank's sudden passing. In the time we got to know him down here in his southern FL home, we came to appreciate his forthrightness and integrity. The 'hood will just not be the same without his daily presence, on his morning run, or stopping for a neighborly chat. We benefited from his experience and knowledge and love of life in Southwest Florida. He communicated that love to us and we shall miss him immensely. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours at this difficult time. Jeannie and Richard Moss Grosvenor. Naples, FL USA"
"Diane and family, Sending our heartfelt condolences to each of you as you mourn the loss of your beloved Frank. His passing, during this Christmastime Season (and one of his favourite times of the year), is no doubt an added blow to your aching hearts. May the passing of time, and the sharing and remembering of times spent in his company, help to ease your sorrow. I will always remember his warm smile, bright clothing, zest for life... and walks to get ice-cream cones at the beach. God Bless, and much love to you all, Jackie Blanchard and family, and Susan Speake too."
My sincere condolences to your wonderful family at this difficult time. May you all find strength together and cherish your countless memories.
Little did I know what a great opportunity it was when, in 1984, I had an interview with Frank for a position in the Marketing Department at Canada Trust. Instead of hiring me as a temporary receptionist, he recognized my potential for better things and offered me a position as Admininstrative Coordinator which truly provided me with a rewarding career path. Reading the wonderful tribute from his family reminded me of how fortunate I was to share a small part of his life. With deepest condolences I make a donation in his name to the Ark Aid Mission. Sincerely, Linda Sebestyen (now Shaw).
To the entire Pratt family-please accept my condolences on the sudden passing of Frank. I have very fond memories of teaching Lindsay and Tracy at Arthur Ford Public School. One of my favorite photos is of my son and I taken with Johnny Cash here in London when the Johnny Cash machines were being promoted. I was given two tickets by Frank and Diane to meet Johnny Cash back stage before the concert. Yours is a family that I enjoyed and greatly appreciated. You will be in my prayers in the days ahead. Stay strong during this very difficult time. Love, Jim Hull.
In memory of the best dressed Dad on the street
"Dear Diane, Tracy, Lindsay, Bryan, Quinn and families. Heather and I are so very sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and in our hearts as we mourn the sudden passing of Frank. I have so many memories from our childhood as we grew up together as next door neighbours and I'll always remember your Dad showing up to answer the door in shorts during the winter and in a stylish colourful sweater during the summer. A funny (and fun) memory... I rang that bell many times as a kid! We will make a donation to Ark Aid Mission in his memory."
"In Frank's memory we hope this donation serves to help someone in need Precision Contracting Ltd"
"Dear Di & Family, Dave & Fran: We were shocked to receive your sad news. Prayers, Lloyd & Karen"
"Quinn, Laurie, Mason and Ryder, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your father and grandfather. From the stories told by Mason and Ryder I know how close your family was. Mason and Ryder, cherish the memories you have of your wonderful grandfather. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time. ❤️Miss M"
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