Charles Ivan Prather
Charles Ivan Prather, 67, of McPherson passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, June 27, 2013.
The son of Mary (Bechtel) and Frederick Hilton Prather, Charles was born on March 18, 1946, in Dodge City. After spending his first few years living in Ford, Kan., Charles moved with his family to Meade, where he began grade school. He graduated from Meade High School in 1964 and then graduated cum laude in 1968 with a BA in history and political science from Southwestern College in Winfield.
Charles married Cynthia Bidwell on December 18, 1967, in Eldorado. After honorably serving in the U.S. army during the Vietnam War, Charles taught high school history in Arkansas City and coached both golf and football. They then moved to Topeka, Kan., so that he could attend Washburn University's School of Law.
After completing his law degree in 1976, Charles and family moved to McPherson, where he joined a local firm. Charles later established his own practice and, in addition to private practice, served for a time as McPherson County’s Assistant County Attorney. After that, he was appointed District Court Trustee for the Ninth Judicial District, a position he took very seriously, and became a champion for his client families. He built the trustee programs in both McPherson and Harvey Counties and faithfully enforced child support for more than 27 years. Charles was a member of the Washburn Law Alumni Association, the Kansas Bar Association, and the Kansas Child Support Enforcement Association. He was a longtime member of the Kiwanis Club of McPherson and recently served as Lieutenant Governor for the Kansas District Division 5 of Kiwanis International. He donated blood to the American Red Cross throughout his lifetime, reaching a milestone of more than 17 gallons.
Charles was a member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in McPherson and was deeply involved in the activities of both his local church and the broader UCC Kansas-Oklahoma Conference, in which he served on the council and participated in numerous capacities during the years. In his home church, Charles served as choir director for more than 30 years and often sang as a soloist for special music. He enjoyed preparing Thanksgiving dinner and Easter breakfast for the congregation and guests each year. He served in many leadership capacities, and recently went through the process of becoming a licensed minister within the UCC church. He was currently filling the pulpit as the congregation went through the search process for a new minister. Charles was deeply contemplative in his spirituality, and believed in not only faith, but action. He modeled his beliefs through service in his local and world communities and was a fervent advocate for social justice.
Charles was an avid sportsman. In his younger days, he played golf, tennis, basketball and football. He was a bowler and bowled at least two perfect 300 games in his life. He served as longtime secretary for the local bowling league and was inducted into the McPherson Bowling Association Hall of Fame. He was a cub master for Pack 133, a scout master for Troop 133, and was himself an Eagle Scout. He loved being outdoors, observing, hunting and fishing. He continued to play golf regularly with his brother and friends and was a member of the McPherson Senior Golf League and the Turkey Creek Golf Course.