Richard K. Pratt Jr. (“Dick”) of Edgartown passed away on Nov. 1, 2023. Leading up to his passing, we did what he loved to do the most — hang out talking about years past and all the great times with family and friends.
Building his home and real estate business on Martha’s Vineyard in the late ’70s, Dick was personally and professionally dedicated to the Island community. Having organized dozens of car shows and racecar events over the years, he generously shared his love of racing cars with everyone. He was involved with all the racers on the Island. Dick partnered with other racers on the Vineyard, and fielded super-late models at regional tracks for years.
Dick was the very first announcer at New England Dragway in Epping, N.H., on Sept. 11, !966, along with Jan Landers. He was involved in drag racing in some capacity for his entire life.
Dick was the last surviving member of the “NO-MADS” drag racing club, active from 1952 to ’62.
He opened Dick Pratt’s SPEEDCO in the ’60s, working with local racers to make their racecars the best they could be.
In 1972 he closed the shop to start a new venture, selling real estate on the Island with his friends Bob Sparks and George Pessotti.
Dick was co-founder of the Martha’s Vineyard Rotary Club, of which he was very proud. He was especially proud of their involvement in Alzheimer’s research. Dick was awarded Rotarian of the Year, an international award, for his work.
Dick was a black belt in Uechi-Ryu karate. Many of his friends from his Boston dojo ended up on the island. His granddaughter Olivia is taking karate from someone Dick taught the skills in the ’70s.
Basketball was also a love of his. He played RCBL and pickup games everywhere he went, well into his 60s. He was known for sharp elbows and a great skyhook.
Everyone who knew Dick was aware that he genuinely cared for them. Genuinely a good man. Old school.
He is survived by his Son Bradford Pratt and Wife Darleen Pratt. His Grand Daughter Olivia Pratt. His Daughter Laura Jeanne Pratt. His Sister Lynne Perry. His Brother Wayne Perry. He has many nieces and nephews who are also mourning.
A memorial of Dick’s life will be held at the Rotary meeting at the P.A. Club at 137 Vineyard Ave. in Oak Bluffs on Dec. 6 at noon.
There will also be a memorial celebration at the New England Racing Museum in Loudon, N.H., in January, with date and time to be determined.