1935 – 2024

Charley Paul Prater, 88, passed Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, at his farm doing what he loved. He was born Feb. 5, 1935, in Egypt, AR to the late William Jackson and Stella Bridges Prater.

Charley graduated from Egypt High School in 1953 and served in the United States Navy during the Korean War from 1953 until 1957. He was on the USS Yorktown CVA 10.

Charley married Madeline A. Robbins on Feb. 21, 1958, and they built a life full of memories and love. Charley and Madeline settled in Paragould in 1964. He retired from Farmers Home Administration in 1991.

He spent his life raising cattle, horses and mules. He loved rebuilding wagons, making harnesses, breaking horses and mules, and going on trail rides. Charley loved gardening and he is well known for tending a community garden at Camp Ground Church, where he raised vegetables, and grew sorghum cane for making molasses.

Charley was a quick-witted, soft-spoken man who valued his faith, family and friends. He would offer a lending hand to any and all.

He is survived by his wife, Madeline Prater of the home; daughters, Paula Norman (Rickey) and Amy Hickman (David), all of Paragould; a daughter of the heart, Tina Cruce (Kenneth) of Jonesboro; grandchildren, Amanda Pillow (Jonathon), Sarah Dearing (Jamey) and Laura Henson (Colby), all of Paragould, Adam Norman of Brunswick, Ga., Victoria Hickman and Leona Hickman of Paragould and Kamron Cruce of Jonesboro; seven great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by a son, Phillip Charles Prater, sisters, Adele and Retha, and six brothers, Roscoe, Hershel, George, Harvey, Huston “Joe” and Morris.

The visitation will be from 6 until 8 p.m. Friday in Camp Ground Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall. A celebration of his life will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Camp Ground Methodist Church with the Rev. Cody Gray officiating. Interment will follow in Greene County Memorial Gardens under the direction of Gregg-Langford Bookout Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials to Camp Ground Methodist Church, 1852 Greene 611 Road, Paragould, AR 72450.

Online registry: