Patricia Ann (Senior) Prather (80) of Mason


Published on April 30 2016 8:54 am

Patricia Ann (Senior) Prather, 80, of Mason was surrounded by God’s Glory on Wednesday morning, April 27, 2016 at home with her family by her side.

Funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 4 at Pagel Funeral Home in Edgewood, Illinois with one-hour viewing prior to service. Reverend Ty Stoneburner will be officiating. Graveside services will be at the Oakridge Cemetery in Effingham. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Pagel Funeral Home in Edgewood. In lieu of memorials, please adopt a child or family at Christmas and think of Patricia and her love of giving especially around the holidays.

Patricia was born on September 18, 1935 in Mason, Illinois to her parents, Martin and Lula Mae (Logan) Senior. The doctor that delivered Patricia at home told her parents that she was the most beautiful baby that he had seen in his decades of medicine. He noted that there would be something special about Patricia. She grew to be a striking person on the outside but it was the heart she had on the inside that made her truly special. God blessed Patricia with a heart so beautiful and generous that she impacted the lives around her in the biggest of ways. She embodied everything that was good in the world.

She attended Mason and Effingham schools. Patricia had the heart of an athlete, academic, and friend. She loved sports and cheerleading. She would often compete with the boys in baseball and basketball and cheer with the girls doing handsprings up and down the court. Her brother Keith was a great athlete and she would be his catcher in their front yard. Her hand would blister from his fast pitches but she loved feeling the ball and glove meet each time. Patricia said her favorite part of life was being in school and having the opportunity to learn and be with her friends. She had dreams of going to college and being a physical education teacher. Her love of sports never wavered and there was always a sparkle of competition in her brown eyes. She loved the Chicago Cubs and was the eternal optimist waiting for “next year”.

Her heart of service would keep her close to home. At age 20, Patricia became a clerk for the United States Postal Service in Mason and was quickly appointed Post Mistress. She would serve the town of Mason for 35 years before retiring. Patricia was very proud of her work as Post Mistress. She loved getting there in the early hours to receive the mail bags and get the mail ready for the public. She enjoyed talking to and meeting people in the lobby. She was the heart of such a small town. If anyone needed help, they knew they could go to the Post Mistress and she would take care of them. Even the stray dogs and cats of the town knew that they could go to the Post Office and Patricia would feed them until she could find them a new home.

Patricia had a heart filled with music.  She played bass in her family’s gospel group, Lula Mae and the Belles. She was able to travel with her family sharing the Gospel and using her gifts for ministry. She loved to play Ann Murray, 50’s sock hop music, and swoon over Elvis with her nieces. During her last days, music filled the room and brought tremendous peace to Patricia.

On April 6, 1985, she married Reverend Lee Prather. For 30 years, she worked alongside Lee in his ministry. She had many “furry” children that brought her the greatest joy. Jacque, Andre, Tootsie and Lucky were her poodles throughout life and were spoiled beyond imagination. Her heart was filled with love for animals.

Aunt Patty was also a second mom to her many nieces and nephews. She loved only the way an aunt could. She was always the cool aunt with the fast cars, the best sleepover parties, and was up for anything. She played a mean game of Uno, hit baseballs for field practice, taught us how to shoot free throws and do cartwheels, skip rocks on the water, and showed us how to graciously win and lose. Patricia had a huge heart for family. She was the glue that held everything together. She was the peacemaker and loyal friend. We will miss her ability to listen without judgement and never failing to be there for you in whatever way you needed. She loved to laugh and the holidays will feel so empty without her generous spirit being there to make family times as special as they were.

Patricia is survived by her sisters, Kathleen Albert (Fred) of Wisconsin and Jeanne Garrod (John)  of Florida; her nieces: Denise and Melanie Senior of Chicago, Tricia Johnson of Florida, Stephanie Elizondo (Stew) of Florida, Lynette Stoneburner (Pastor Ty) of Wisconsin, Krystle Schuette (Mike) of Effingham, Monica Albert of Chicago; nephews: Kevin, Martin and Steve Senior of Chicago, David Eskew (Peg) of Montrose, Michael Eskew (Connie) of Effingham, Chris Eskew (Phyllis)  of Effingham , Steve Eskew (Kelly) of Effingham,  Dustin Herrmann of Neenah; stepchildren: Steve Prather (Doris) of Flora, Cindy Birdsall (Don) of Edgewood, and Tony Prather of Iola.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Keith Senior, sister Carole Scroggins and husband Lee Prather.