Kenneth Ray Prater passed away from cancer on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at Tennova Turkey Creek Medical Center surrounded by his loved ones. Most people would say that he “lost his battle” but that couldn’t be further from the truth, he battled cancer for eight years and he never let it stop him from living his life. Ken was born in LaFollette Tn on December 23, 1942, to the late Truman Prater and Dorothy Shelby Prater.
Once he was old enough, Ken joined the military and that is where he discovered his passion for photography. He told the story that when he joined, they told him that he could either pick a profession and they would send him where they wanted to or he could pick a destination and they would assign him a career and he picked a random destination and was told he would be serving as a photographer. Much to Ken’s surprise, he quickly fell in love with the profession and made it his career. He served overseas and continued his career at Fort Benning. Ken graduated from Cumberland College in 1974 with a Bachelor’s of Science-Commerce. He then opened his own photography studio Prater’s Studio in Williamsburg, Ky, and LaFollette Art Studio in LaFollette, Tn. He completed his career as a photographer at Legend’s Portraits in Clinton, Tn.
Ken will be greatly missed by his life partner Darlene Wilson; Daughters Kellie Armetta (and her mother Patsy Prim Prater) and husband Andy and Tammara Hall and partner Bruce Hale, Son Greg Hall, and wife Ivy. Ken had many grandchildren; Chelsea Rousseau and husband Rhett, Josh Armetta, Crystal Holstine and partner Devon Smith, Dalton, Dallin, & Raven Hall, and Ocha Adkins. He also leaves behind great-grandchildren; Rhys, Jordis, Jace, Noah, Adleigh, & Kyce Rousseau, and Joseph Smith. Ken will also be missed by his living siblings, Brother Robert Prater, Sisters Ramona Kimmel, Lena Bailey, & Donna Overton, and many cousins and close friends.
Ken was proceeded in death by his parents Truman and Dorothy Prater, his sister Lenora Sweat, son Kent Prater, and second wife Pamela Gibson Prater.
As a person, Ken was unfailingly kind and would do almost anything for anyone. He never met a stranger and could strike up a conversation with almost anyone. He had a zest for life that was unmatchable. He loved to travel with Darlene and they loved to dance, especially to jazz music. Ken was determined not to let cancer slow him down, as a matter of fact, in November of 2022; Ken, two of his grandsons, and a few other friends and family members went skydiving for Ken’s 80th birthday and they all had the best time.
There will be a celebration of Ken’s life on Monday, May 8 from 5-7 at Holley Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton, TN. There will not be a service but anyone who wishes to is encouraged to speak and share memories of Ken.