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BIOGRAPHY

Pratt was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 15 April 1891. She and her family moved to the United States when she was 6 weeks old. The family moved frequently due to her father’s business practices, which required him to travel from New York to Chicago and various other towns in between.

At the age of 7, a friend gifted her with her first set of watercolors, but she never used them. Two years later, a family friend offered to teach her painting in exchange for her mother, an accomplished pianist, giving piano lessons. This marked the beginning of her formal arts education. At the age of 13, she and one of her seventh-grade classmates were selected to exhibit their paintings at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. After completing high school in Chicago, she pursued formal art studies for four years, splitting her time between the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York City. Later, some of her paintings would appear in art galleries in Chicago and New York City. When World War I broke out in Europe, she volunteered to go overseas and work in the canteens for the YMCA. She spent six months working in canteens from France to Germany. However, what she witnessed during the war discouraged her from resuming painting when she returned to the USA.

In 1920, she married Wallace Pratt, a general practitioner, and the two relocated from New York City to Walla Walla. Shortly thereafter, she found the inspiration to continue her artwork. During World War II, she worked with the USO in Walla Walla. They had three daughters, and the family remained active in community affairs. After World War II, they played a role in establishing a local theater group in Walla Walla. Additionally, some of her paintings were exhibited at the Maryhill Museum, located south of Goldendale, Washington.

In 1955, when she was around 63, she and her husband moved to the Willamette View Manor retirement home in Portland, where she was still living at the age of 96. They were among the first residents to move there the year it was built. The couple lived there together for 20 years until her husband’s passing in 1976. Her apartment walls were later covered with paintings, including portraits she had created of her family, her husband, and others she had known and grown up with. At the age of 96, she was still painting pastoral and oil landscapes, as well as still life, in her apartment bedroom. A large portrait she painted of her husband shortly before his passing was also at the wall of her room.

At the age of 96, she remained in good health. It was reported that she had never experienced arthritis or undergone major surgery. She was able to walk unassisted, without the need for a walker or cane.

Pratt passed away on 11 May 2002, at the age of 111 years, 26 days.

RECOGNITION

Her age was verified by Jimmy Lindberg and Jason King, and validated by LongeviQuest on 7 April 2024.

ATTRIBUTION

* “At 96, Milwaukie artist views work with inspiration” – The Oregonian, 13 May 1987

GALLERY

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