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FAIRFIELD, MAINE Loring Withee Pratt, MD, F.A.C.S., 93 of Fairfield, Maine, passed away Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at Maine General Medical Center, Augusta, Maine Campus, with his loving family at his side.
He was born in Farmington, Maine on May 26, 1918, in his mothers bedroom by cesarean section, the son of Ethel Louise (Withee) and Lyde Stuart Pratt, Ph.D. He married Jeanette (Jennie) Burque in 1945 and they have remained together for the last 67 years.
He Graduated from Glens Falls Senior High School in Glens Falls, NY in 1936. He continued his education at Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT where he graduated in 1940 with a combined major in Biology/Chemistry. He was member of Phi Beta Pi. From that point he entered Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland where he spent the next six years studying medicine, specializing in Otolaryngology.
He served for two years in the US Air Force in Flight Surgeon Training at Randolph Field, Texas, being discharged in June of 1948. At that time Loring and Jennie packed up the car and drove from Texas to Waterville, Maine where he set up practice in Otolaryngology, and worked until 1985. After retiring he worked for both the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona and Johns Hopkins Medical Center triaging patients for further medical treatment. He loved medicine so much he could not just retire from the profession.
Loring was certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology in 1949. He served as Assistant Director of the F.T. Hill Seminar at Colby College in Waterville, Maine; Chief of Staff at Thayer Hospital 1979-1981; and Chief of Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 1977-1979 at Thayer Hospital in Waterville, Maine. He also spent a lot of time working with TB patients at the Central Maine Sanatorium in Fairfield, Maine. He was on the consulting staff of Waterville Osteopathic Hospital; Kennebec Valley Medical Center, Augusta, Maine; Franklin Memorial Hospital, Farmington, Maine; Penbay Medical Center, Rockland, Maine; Redington Fairview General Hospital, Skowhegan, Maine; Veterans Administration Hospital (Togus), Augusta, Maine; and the Charles Dean Memorial Hospital, Greenville, Maine. In addition, he was a Senior Consultant for the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona.
For a doctor from a small Maine city, he had accomplishments on a national level in the field of medicine. He attained fellowship in many medical organizations in America. Three of his most prized being the American College of Surgeons from 1952 to present, the Triological Society from 1954 to present, and the America Medical Association from 1948 to present. He also contributed to the field by publishing papers in medical journals and presenting at professional conferences. One of his specialties was chainsaw injuries to the head and neck. He was recognized for nationally for this work.
He was a Mason since June of 1940, becoming a member in Vermont. He was a member of the Waterville Lodge # 33, A. F. & A. M., since January, 1954. He belonged to the Teconnet Chapter # 13, R. & S. M. of Oakland, Maine, St. Omer Commandery # 12 of Waterville, Maine and the Augusta Valley Scottish Rite 32nd degree of Augusta, Maine. His family will receive his 60 year certificate from the Waterville Lodge in April. He was also a member of the Kora Temple Shrine International of Lewiston, Maine.
Loring was an active member of the Fairfield Historical Society, serving as president from 2003 to 2010. Meetings kept him involved with the history house on High Street and his love for preserving not only personal memories, but those of the community he loved and was part of.
He became a Master Gardner in his late 80s, having a passion for all living things big and small. He could state the genus and species of many plants and animals found in the wild. His gardens around his home were always maintained to be beautiful throughout the growing season. Geology was a hobby he loved. Digging through a gravel pit, or walking a beach would entertain him for hours. As a young boy, he collected animal skulls and cleaned and mounted them with his dad. The collection is intact today. Photography was a life-long pleasure. He built a dark room in his home and developed thousands of photographs, even his yearly Christmas cards. This skill was passed on to his children and grand children.
Family was the most important aspect of Lorings life. He and Jennie raised nine children who were guided in life to strive to be the best at what they attempted, the way he did. When asked what is his favorite room in the house was, he said, the family room.
Loring was predeceased by his parents Ethel and Lyde Pratt; his uncles George, Harold and Philip Pratt; and a dear cousin Claris Sturtevant of Farmington, Maine.
He is survived by his nine children and their families, George (Tad) and Ann Pratt of Bellevue, NE, and their children Jennifer and Andy Sedlacek and Emily and Chris Nielson all of NE; Robert and Kathy Pratt of Owls Head, ME, and their children Melissa and George Seegel of NC, Kristi and Bob Curtis of ME, and Jacob Pratt of MA; Anne and Scott Giroux of Winslow, ME and their children Kevin and Shana Giroux of FL, Mark and Ana Carolina Giroux of CN, Mike Giroux and Mathew Giroux both of ME; Jeanette (Susie) and Brandon Price of Mexico, and their children Sarah Price and Julie Eastin of WDC and Jonathan and Nora Price of NC; Patricia (Patty) Pratt and David Schaible of Nobelboro, ME, and their children Jeanette and Loring both of ME; Harold (Skip) and Doris Pratt of Fairfield, ME, and their children Elyse Pratt-Ronco and Larry Ronco, John, Michelle and Eric all of ME; John and Jane Pratt of Bakersfield, CA, and their children Jared and Emma Pratt, Jenna, and Jenny Kay all of CA; Kathleen (Kathy) and Robert Dorko of Skowhegan, ME, and their children Allison, Ian, and Isaac all of ME; Ethel (Cricket) and John Blouin of Manchester, ME, and their children Jillian, Reid, and Leslie all of ME; and 15 great grand children.
Visiting hours will be held at the Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main Street, Fairfield, Maine, Friday, March 16, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm, with at Masonic service at 6:30 pm. Visiting hours will also be on Saturday, March 17, from 6 to 8 pm. A funeral will be held at 2 pm on Sunday March 18, at the Lorimer Chapel at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, with a celebration of his life at the Cotter Union also on Colby Campus directly after the service. A graveside service will be held in the spring in Farmington, Maine.
The family would like to thank the staff at Maine General Medical Center CCU, Augusta Campus, David Preston, MD and Debbie Hutchins, with a special thanks to Cindy Nelson, Shannon Wakefield, Becky Giroux, Barbara Bailey, June Hamlin, and Lorings special friend, Sam.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Lorings name to the Fairfield Historical Society, 42 High Street Fairfield, Maine 04937.