Camping 03

Barbara J (Shepherd) Prater

July 23, 1947 ~ December 16, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Barbara Prater Obituary

Barbara J. Prater, 76, North Manchester, took her final hike on December 16, 2023, passing away peacefully at her home surrounded by loved ones. She was born on July 23, 1947, in Warsaw to Clyde and Emma Jean (Adams) Shepherd.

After graduating from Claypool High School in 1965, Barbara began working at Zimmer in Warsaw, where she was employed for twenty years before finding her true calling of being a caregiver. From 1998 to 2012 she worked for Timbercrest Senior Living as a CNA, QMA, and LPN. Barbara returned to school in 2000 and obtained an associate degree in nursing from Ivy Tech. She eventually retired from Timbercrest but found a job where she could remain social by working as a cashier for Walmart in Wabash from 2019 to 2022.

Barbara married Ralph Prater, who brought two sons, Ralph "Gerald" and Gregory, with him into the marriage. Barbara loved both boys as her own, and together Ralph and Barbara added two additional children, Chasity and Kyle. While the couple was still married, Barbara enjoyed spending her spare time working with horses at Prater’s Paints in North Manchester. On August 2, 1994, both Ralph and Barbara felt the unimaginable heartbreak of losing their son, Kyle. 

Barbara’s favorite thing in the entire world was being “Grandma Horsey” to her grandchildren, Kasey, Kamron, Nicole and Kylee as well as “Gigi” to her five great-grandchildren. She also had a deep passion for being outside and enjoyed gardening and lawn work. She delighted in going camping, especially to Turkey Run State Park. Barbara truly possessed a caregiver’s heart and did anything to help or lend a hand for both humans and animals alike.

The loving memory of Barbara Prater will be forever cherished by her daughter, Chasity (Matthew) Sandy, Warsaw; sons, Ralph F. "Gerald" Prater, Syracuse and Gregory (Kristal) Prater, North Webster; grandchildren, Kasey Prater, Kamron (Melissa) Prater, Nicole (Marcus) Brumblow, and Kylee Schooley; and five great-grandchildren. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents; son, Kyle A. Prater; and sister, Sharon Kay Shepherd.

Family and friends may call Friday, December 22, 2023, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at McKee Mortuary, 1401 State Road 114 West, North Manchester. Funeral services will begin at the conclusion of calling with Chaplain Denise Schwaberow officiating. Burial will be at Oaklawn Cemetery, 600 Beckley Street, North Manchester, at a later date.

For those who wish to honor the memory of Barbara Prater, memorial contributions may be made to the Wabash County Cancer Society, P.O. Box 144, North Manchester, Indiana 46962.

The family of Barbara Prater has entrusted McKee Mortuary with care and final arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Barbara J (Shepherd) Prater, please visit our floral store.

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December 22, 2023

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
McKee Mortuary

Funeral Service
December 22, 2023

5:00 PM
McKee Mortuary


Wabash County Cancer Society
P.O. Box 144, North Manchester IN 46962


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