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Coach Keith's Story

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Coach Keith Prater, 38, of Morehead, a loving husband, father, son and brother; an esteemed coach and teacher; and an inspiration to all who knew him, passed away Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at the U.K. Medical Center in Lexington from pneumonia complications during his courageous battle with leukemia.
Born April 7, 1979, in Portsmouth, Ohio, he is the son of Allen and Debbie Lykins Prater of Morehead. On August 9, 2003, Keith was united in marriage to his wife, Misty Ison Prater, and they were blessed with two daughters he adored, nine-year-old Kennedy and two-year-old Karsyn.
Keith will also be lovingly remembered by his brother, Todd Prater; two nephews, Dru and Aaron Prater; and maternal grandmother, Vivian Watson Lykins, all of Vanceburg. Coach Prater also leaves behind countless friends from all walks of life whose lives he touched.
Keith was raised in Lewis County, where he was commonly referred to as "Pedro." He graduated from Lewis County High School in 1997 and graduated from Morehead State University with a bachelor's degree in sociology in 2003. Keith worked at St. Claire Regional Medical Center as the Patient Relations Coordinator before attending Georgetown College, where he earned a master's degree in special education in 2009.
Coach Prater's profession as a successful coach and teacher spanned 17 years from elementary to high school grades. He began his career at Tollesboro Elementary and later moved to Lewis County Middle School, Lewis County High School and Rowan County Senior High School. In his life's journey, he was mentor to scores of students who credit him with positively influencing their lives forever.
During the four seasons that Coach Prater was head baseball coach (2012-13 at Lewis County and 2016-17 at Rowan County), he was recognized for numerous achievements. Under his leadership, the schools went a combined 103-43. His leadership also brought three district championships, a 16th Region title win in the final game he coached (first win for the Vikings since 1983), and the Lions' winningest season ever, their 27-11 campaign in 2013. He received the All-Area Coach of the Year award three times, including the 2017 award. Keith loved coaching and youth sports. Coach Prater was well-known and admired for his consistently optimistic attitude. He brought the same passion to his daily life whether coaching baseball, football or bowling; teaching or tutoring students; interacting with co-workers; meeting someone for the first time; visiting old-time friends; or what he considered the most important part of his day--spending precious time with family, especially his daughters. As reported, "He leaves a legacy that we can only hope to reach one day."
A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 24, 2017, at Rowan County Senior High School with Jason Lykins officiating. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens with Jim Tom Trent presiding.
Pallbearers: Kelly Ford, Derrick Bevins, Rob Ward, Scott Collins, Jason Ingles, Charlie Graham, Tommy Lykins, David Lykins, Jeremy Ruckel, Justin Graham, and Jason Davis. Honorary pallbearers: Rowan County Senior High School and Lewis County High School baseball teams.
Visitation for Coach Keith Prater was Sunday, July 23, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Monday, July 24, 2017, from 10 a.m. until the service at 2 p.m. at RCSHS, 499 Viking Drive, Morehead, KY 40351.
Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals in Morehead is caring for arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, monetary donations may be made payable to Keith's Korner (please designate for Markey Cancer Center). Checks may be delivered or mailed to any Kentucky Bank location.
View memorial tribute or sign guestbook at www.northcuttandson.com
Published on July 24, 2017
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