Michael Pratola, Jr. of Avondale, Pennsylvania passed away at his home on Sunday, September 22, 2019. He was 94 years old. Born in Madison, New Jersey, he was the son of Michael Pratola and Grace Esposito Pratola.
He was the beloved husband of Mary DiStephano Pratola for 71 years; father of Stephanie Pratola (James Dalton) and Michael Pratola, III (Melanie); Pop-pop of Aaron James Dalton, Andrew Michael Dalton, Ivy Grace Pratola and Rachel Ann Pratola; brother of Anna Kelleher. He was predeceased by siblings, Fred, Sr., Pat, Ralph and Angeline.
Mike was a veteran of World War II, serving in Italy in the Fifth Army Division. He achieved the rank of Master Sergeant. After Italy surrendered, he was assigned to operate a crane in the bat of Naples. Finally out of harm's way, he directed a team of locals to retrieve sunken boats and downed planes from the harbor. In his free time, he explored the coast of Italy with his friends and got to know his mother's family who lived on the other side of Mount Vesuvius.
Mike was one of the elders of the mushroom community. He began growing mushrooms when he returned from military service in 1946 until retiring at the age 89 in 2014. Originally in business with his father and brothers; he continued to grow with his son more recently.
He was an avid fisherman; enjoyed weekly outings to the Eastern Shore with his twin brother as well as frequent trips to nearby trout streams.
Mike and his brother Fred were talented wood carvers; for many years hosting a "carving club" in Mike's basement.
In addition to his immediate family, Mike leaves behind three generations of nieces and nephews; as well as many special family friends. His last years were made comfortable by the devoted staff of Nexus Home Health Care. His final days were enhanced by the care of Penn Medicine Hospice.
A Funeral Mass will be offered at 11:00AM on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at St. GABRIEL of the SORROWFUL MOTHER CHURCH, 8910 Gap Newport Road, Avondale. Very Rev. Mark Kelleher will celebrate the liturgy. A viewing will be in the church from 9:30AM until 11:00AM. Burial will follow in St. Patrick Cemetery, Route 82, Kennett Square.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: STAR, Inc., P.O. Box 1075, Torrance, CA 90505 -or- Penn Medicine Hospice, 400 East Marshall Street, West Chester, PA 19382 -or- St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother.
To send flowers to Michael's family, please visit our floral section.