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Obituary

Lloyd Charles Pray
June 25, 1919 - April 5, 2016

Lloyd Charles Pray

Lloyd Charles Pray
Jun 25, 1919 - Apr 5, 2016

Lloyd Charles Pray
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June 25, 1919 - April 5, 2016 (age 96)

Lloyd Charles Pray was a loving husband, father, and highly-regarded professor who inspired thousands of students at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he taught Geology for nearly four decades. His positive outlook and infectious enthusiasm, along with his candor and sense of humor, endeared him to many throughout his life.

Lloyd is survived by his beloved wife, Carrel Myers Pray, whom he married on September 14, 1946, in her hometown of Morristown, New Jersey. Carrel, also 96, lives in Madison at Coventry Village, where the couple lived in a memory care unit until his passing. Since 1969, Lloyd and Carrel lived in a farmhouse they remodeled on the west side of Madison, "Tumbledown Farm," and often visited Lloyd's family cottage on the south shore of Lake Superior.

Born in Chicago, Lloyd was raised in Ashland, Wisconsin, by his mother, Helen Palmer (Pray) of Madison, and his father, Allan Theron Pray, a prominent attorney who set up the law firm of Sanborn, Lamoreaux and Pray in 1903. Lloyd was preceded in death by two older sisters, Harriet (Pray) DeHaven of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Janet (Pray) O'Connor of Portage, Wisconsin, and two older brothers, Theron Pray of Ashland, and John Pray, who passed away at age 8, before Lloyd was born.

After attending public high school in Ashland, Lloyd's geological education began at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota under famed scientist and explorer Larry Gould. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1941. He earned a Masters degree at Cal Tech in Pasadena, California, in 1943. Near the end of WWII, Lloyd enlisted as an officer in the Navy to help survey Japanese harbors to determine if they were navigable. After a year with the USGS, where he completed a now-classic dissertation on the stratigraphy of New Mexico's Sacramento Mountains, he returned to Cal Tech, was awarded his Ph.D. in 1951, and became an associate professor. Lloyd moved his family to Littleton, Colorado, in 1956, where he initiated carbonate research at Marathon Oil Company's Denver Research Center. In 1968, he made Madison his permanent home, as a tenured geology professor at the University of Wisconsin for 35 years.

During his professional career, Lloyd earned an international reputation as a leader in the earth sciences. He had a profound and lasting effect on the study of sedimentary geology and the origin and characteristics of carbonate rocks. An outspoken proponent of getting away from desks and computers and out into the field, he made critical discoveries along the cliffs of the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas, where he led field trips for graduate students and geologists for years. Although his fieldwork took him around the world, from the deserts of Libya to the coral reefs of Australia, he never lost his love and appreciation for the geology of his home state of Wisconsin.

As a geologist, Lloyd will be remembered for his maverick approach, which required the scientific community to step outside of its normal boundaries and conventions. As an educator, he had a unique ability to communicate complex scientific concepts and discoveries with logic, wit, and unbounded enthusiasm. Year after year, he mesmerized the students in his popular Geology 101 class, and inspired many graduate students who went on to make groundbreaking contributions to industry and academia. Lloyd received numerous awards during his career, including one for Distinguished Achievement at his 50th reunion for Carleton College; a prestigious University of Wisconsin teaching award in 1988, and the award he was most proud of, the Wallace Pratt Stewardship Award, for his work at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. He also won the Society for Sedimentary Geology's highest honor, the Twenhofel Medal, in 1999.

Lloyd and Carrel Pray enjoyed an active family life with four sons, 12 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren: son Lawrence Myers Pray and wife Connie (Beaire) of Minneapolis (grandchildren Timothy, Andrew, Benjamin, and Emily); son John Allan Pray and wife Eileen (Wright) of Madison (grandchildren Sarah and Ian); son Kenneth Palmer Pray and wife Mary (Ohlinger) of Cincinnati (grandchildren Catherine, Allan, Christopher, and Lauren); and son Douglas Carrel Pray and wife Diana (Rathe) of Los Angeles (grandchildren Theron and Sophia).

Lloyd was an active member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Madison. He was involved in and supported many charitable organizations and institutions throughout his life, including Rotary Club, The American Diabetes Association, American Field Service, and Northland College. Lloyd was always an avid supporter of his wife, Carrel's, many involvements, including The Madison Boychoir, which she founded and directed for 16 years, and her work as a watercolor painter.

The family wishes to thank the staff at the Sebring memory care unit of Coventry Village and Agrace Hospice Care for their love and care during the last years of Lloyd's life.

A memorial service will held on Saturday, May 14 at 11:00 a.m. at the Quaker Meeting House, 1704 Roberts Ct., Madison, Wisconsin. Following the service, at 12:30 p.m., there will be a reception at Tumbledown Barn, 7664 Tumbledown Trail, Verona, Wisconsin. Email john.pray@wisc.edu for details. A private Interment service for family/close friends will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 15 at Forest Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, any donations may be made to any of the following organizations that were meaningful to Lloyd:

Madison Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, 1704 Roberts Court, Madison, WI 53711

Northland College, 1411 Ellis Ave S, Ashland, WI 54806

Department of Geology, Carleton College, 1 N. College St., Northfield, MN 55057

Department of Geology, University of Wisconsin, 1215 W. Dayton St., Madison, WI 53706

American Field Service, 120 Wall St, New York, NY 10005

Center for Defense Information, 1100 G Street NW, Suite 500, Washington D.C. 20005

Friends Committee on National Legislation, 245 Second Ave. NE, Washington D.C. 20002

Wisconsin Public Television, 821 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706

Any donation may be made directly to any of the above organizations, or a check made out to any of the above organizations may be mailed to John Pray (john.pray@wisc.edu), who will forward it to the appropriate address.

Cress Funeral Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
(608) 238-3434

Sallie Jones on Jun 30, 2016

My husband, David, and I were students in Lloyd's carbonate class at UW in the late 70's. He was a great teacher and inspiration and a very kind person. So original and a lot of fun in the class room and in the field. Legendary!! May his Light shine on in the many lives he touched. Sallie Beeghly Jones and David Jones M.S. 1978

Sally Morgenthaler on May 10, 2016

Lloyd was the still yet passionate point cohering this immensely creative family. I met him when I was not yet five, a child in Littleton, Colorado and student of Carrel's. How I loved walking up to their house off of Ridge Road. There's was a home of unbridled curiosity and possibility - a culture of becoming that both Lloyd and Carrel nurtured. Later, when the family moved to Tumbledown, I visited as a college student, and then on into my twenties, thirties, and midlife. I remember Lloyd's morning appointment with the Economist and New York Times. I remember conversations late into the night after Carrel had gone to bed, discussing philosophy, new scientific discoveries, and finding meaning in a complex and oft times dark world. His confidence in the human imagination and spirit uplifted my soul even as they expanded my thinking. More recently (2007), I remember a visit with Lloyd and Carrel right after they had moved to Covenant Oaks. We went to dinner at their club by the lake. Lloyd looked out over the lake and told the story of proposing to her out on a spit of land. They both told stories about their lives together. I a was the fortunate observer as they held hands over the table. Lloyds unswerving dedication to Carrel, to his family, was so poignant as he remembered their lives together, I will never forget it. Lloyd, your kindness, persistence, and sheer love for life will go with us all.

Mary Ohlinger-Pray on Apr 15, 2016

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Mary Collet on Apr 13, 2016

As a fellow Quaker in the Madison Friends Meeting, I'll never forget Lloyd and Carrel's warm hospitality the many times hosted the Irma Duncan caroling party during the Christmas holidays. Lloyd contributed much to our Meeting in many ways, and I'm deeply grateful to him. --Mary Collet

John Pray on Apr 13, 2016

Carol Mankiewicz on Apr 13, 2016

Lloyd taught me to think critically and the importance of careful observation. I remember studying hand samples and thin sections for hours in his carbonate lab, trying to decipher the story of how the rocks were deposited. I remember his "pasta rocks" and copied the concept in my own teaching to get across the idea of shelter porosity. He instilled a love of field work through extended field trips to the Guadalupe Mountains, Florida, and Oklahoma. Many field stops were illuminated by headlights due to his boundless energy in the field. I remember watching him bouncing down steep slopes. We were always sure he would fall, but he never did; we attributed his safety to a guardian angel whose sole job was to watch over Lloyd. I have tried to instill a similar love of field work in my students. In fact, next month, I will be with 15 students in Florida and we will investigate some of the field stops I first saw with Lloyd back in 1983. He will be in my thoughts as we collect Ocala Limestone and set out to explore Florida Bay and the reef tract. Thank you Lloyd for your love of geology and love of life. Carol Mankiewicz, PhD, 1987

Richard L. Adams on Apr 12, 2016

Lloyd was a profound influence on my geologic career. I will always remember the first day of class in the fall of 1973, when he walked into our carbonate geology class at U. W. and began telling our class that we needed to question everything. His example was to pull out an envelope and a stamp (yes, I am old enough to remember what those are). He then proceeded to tell us that of course everyone knows how to put a stamp on an envelope; and with that he proceeded to lick the envelope and placed the stamp in the wet spot! He supervised my master's thesis, which was in the Madison area, unlike so many which were in the Guadalupe Mountains at that time, and he freely gave of his time, his wisdom and his enthusiasm.
I also had the privilege to spend a Spring Break Filed Class with him in the Ouachita Mountains of Oklahoma, where we observed great geology. beautiful scenery, and many of his "Turkey Buzzards". The learning didn't stop at the outcrops though; it continued into our evening camping adventures, even when we were caught in an overnight downpour.
His wit, wisdom, insight and tutelage have stayed with me throughout my career. I only wish that I could have a fraction of the influence that he had on my life with the young geologists that I have encountered since that time. Even though his body and mind will be missed his influence and memory will stay with me for a long time.
Thank you Lloyd for all you have meant to me. I will look forward to seeing you again in Heaven.
God Bless and keep you and all of your family.
Rich Adams
MS Geology, 1975

Richard L. Adams on Apr 12, 2016

CandleLloyd was a profound influence on my geologic career. I will always remember the first day of class in the fall of 1973, when he walked into our carbonate geology class at U. W. and began telling our class that we needed to question everything. His example was to pull out an envelope and a stamp (yes, I am old enough to remember what those are). He then proceeded to tell us that of course everyone knows how to put a stamp on an envelope; and with that he proceeded to lick the envelope and placed the stamp in the wet spot! He supervised my master's thesis, which was in the Madison area, unlike so many which were in the Guadalupe Mountains at that time, and he freely gave of his time, his wisdom and his enthusiasm.
I also had the privilege to spend a Spring Break Filed Class with him in the Ouachita Mountains of Oklahoma, where we observed great geology. beautiful scenery, and many of his "Turkey Buzzards". The learning didn't stop at the outcrops though; it continued into our evening camping adventures, even when we were caught in an overnight downpour.
His wit, wisdom, insight and tutelage have stayed with me throughout my career. I only wish that I could have a fraction of the influence that he had on my life with the young geologists that I have encountered since that time. Even though his body and mind will be missed his influence and memory will stay with me for a long time.
Thank you Lloyd for all you have meant to me. I will look forward to seeing you again in Heaven.
God Bless and keep you and all of your family.
Rich Adams
MS Geology, 1975

John Pray on Apr 10, 2016

Jeff: Thank you for that wonderful story. Believe me, our family heard about his fondness for turkey buzzards on many occasions, so it was definitely a sincere desire of his. I like to think the same thought with which you closed your tribute. Thanks, John Pray

Michele Brogunier on Apr 10, 2016

My condolences to the Pray family on the occasion of Lloyd's passing.

Jeff Horner on Apr 10, 2016

As a charter member of the Madison Boy Choir in 1971, I was a boy and mostly knew Lloyd through his dear wife Carrel, founder and director of the choir. As the years went by, and as my and my family's involvement with the choir grew throughout the 1970s, Lloyd and Carrel became family friends, and the bond between my mother and Carrel became especially close. They dined and traveled together, and stayed close friends until Mom's death in 2004.
One day, after a dinner together with the Prays and other friends the night before, Mom relayed this to me, which I've never forgotten, and of course thought about again when I heard of Lloyd's passing. The topic had turned that night to the kind of animal each person might want to come back as, after their death. After many conventional and perhaps predictable answers, Lloyd stated that he'd definitely want to come back as a Turkey Buzzard. Explaining himself after laughter and inquiries died down, Mom said Lloyd was enthusiastic in his explanation. He had seen many of them during his geological outings around the country, and had always envied their ability to catch the wind, rise and ride a thermal, and just soar in the summer air, high above everything else, watching, enjoying their turkey-buzzardness.
I was glad to have been able to visit the Prays at Coventry Village in Madison, back a couple of years ago, and even gladder that myself and my family were touched by such a dynamic, wise, and culturally rich couple like Lloyd and Carrel. I know for certain that my association with both of them shaped the direction of my own life, after a youth spent singing and traveling with the choir.
Summer's coming, and you can bet I'm going to keep an eye on the horizon, just to see what might be riding the thermals in the air, looking back at me. Godspeed, Lloyd.

Sarah Pray on Apr 9, 2016

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Service

May
14
Saturday
Quaker Meeting House
1704 Roberts Court
Madison, Wisconsin 53711
11:00 AM

Reception

May
14
Saturday
Tumbledown Barn
7664 Tumbledown Trail
Verona , Wisconsin 53593
12:30 PM
Email john.pray@wisc.edu for details

Interment

May
15
Sunday
Forest Hill Cemetery
1 Speedway Rd.
Madison, Wisconsin 53705
10:00 AM
This is a private interment service for family and close friends.

*Due to time restrictions, delivery to service is unavailable.

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