Stephen Pratt was an Original
Another claim for 2012 having been a bummer year for many: news has just arrived that Stephen Pratt died on December 28, of cancer. As regular visitors to this blog will know, Pratt built HM's folio Albion press, and many others like it around North America. (That's him above, with one of his presses, in his preferred color. He said that green was how the presses would have been sold stock at the time, and no doubt he's right, but it's so ugly. HM paid a bit extra for black.) If building those presses was the only accomplishment of his life, it would be enough. But as this obit that has been circulated details, there was much more as well:
"Stephen Pratt grew up on a backwoods ranch in the State of Washington. Steve graduated from Brigham Young University with a master’s degree in education. He did further post graduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1960’s. He taught full-time in the public school system for six years and then taught for one year in a private school. Seven years were spent working for the National Center for Constitutional Studies under the direction of renowned historian, W. Cleon Skousen, where Pratt devoted his time to research and teaching in many locations in the United States and two foreign countries. With his wife, Belva Gae, they are the parents of four children and reside on a 60 acre “ranch” at Cove Fort, Utah. For the past 20 plus years has earned a living with his hands in a family business called Pratt Wagon Works, where they build historic wagons, printing presses and other old-fashioned reproductions."
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Parley Pratt, grandson in Primary Children’s Hospital, at Wells Fargo Bank, NCCS.net, or the National Federal Lands Conference.