Thomas Prall of Caldwell, Idaho, went to be with Lord and Savior and to be reunited with his darling wife Doris on November 25, 2021, Thanksgiving morning.
Tom was born on January 17, 1924 in Kelso, Washington. He was the 5th child of Charlie and Alta Prall. He was preceded in death by his parents, three half-brothers, two sisters and two brothers, a granddaughter and great granddaughter and his loving wife of 64 ½ years.
He joined the Marine Corp in 1940 and honorable discharge in October 1942. Then was drafted into the U.S. Army in June 1944, WW2. He received medical honorable discharge on December 18, 1945. He was honored to have served his country.
He then returned to Caldwell, where he met his darling wife, Doris Mattox. They were married on April 27, 1947. Two daughters and a son came from that union. They were married 64 ½ years when Doris went to be with the Lord.
He is survived by his daughters, Karen Winn of Caldwell, ID, Phyllis Brewer of Hermiston, OR and son Ronald (Cindy) Prall of Kamiah, ID; grandson, Tony Mentell of Pasco, WA; granddaughters, Trudy (Phillip) Matson of Idaho Falls, ID, Lauren (Bruce) Thompson of Hermiston, OR, Natalie (Brad Hamilton of Stanfield, OR; great grandchildren, Ezekiel Mentell, Keith (Shyla) Matson, Carrisa Matson; great great granddaughter Deja Matson; many nieces and nephews that he dearly loved.
Tom enjoyed camping, fishing, camp hosting, traveling in their motorhome seeing the country and visiting family. Tom had a spiritual birth and became a born again Christian June 1968.
Tom became a jeweler, watch repairman from 1958 to 1978, when he retired due to illness.
In 1959, Tom joined the Disabled American Veterans Organization. In his 62 years of service to DAV he accomplished the following:
In 1976, he helped to reactivate Nampa Chapter #13. He held offices as State/Chapter 13 Commanders, District 2 Commander/Chaplin, and Chaplin for 15 years, chapter Treasurer. He continued to help as Assistant Chaplin until last year. For many years he volunteered his time in driving the VA transportation van, taking veterans to and from the VA hospital, helping with bingo games and other activities at the VA hospital.
Tom’s military time started in 1940 when he joined the Marine Corp, but was medically discharged after boot camp, October 1940. Then in 1944 WW2 started and he was drafted into the US Army. He served with the 17th Infantry 9th Division. He did his boot camp training in Little Rock, Arkansas. There he learned to dismantle the M 1 rifle and put it back together in 60 seconds. On the rifle range he had 193 hits out of 200 shots. He was considered an expert rifleman and received a medal for it. He said he was trained to kill the enemy, even though he didn’t like it. He received more extensive training at Fort Ord, California then shipped to Laty, Philippines. There he received night jungle training for 2 months. His division was then shipped to Okinawa, Japan for battle. The last invasion of South Pacific Philippines liberation on the main beach of Okinawa, Japan. On April 1, 1945 April Fool’s Day no less. No joke. Ten days later he was injured in combat and woke up in the hospital in Quam. He was there about 3 weeks before being sent to the Madigan General Hospital in Fort Lewis, Washington. He spent 8 months there before receiving a Medical Honorable Discharge. During that time of service he received lapel pins, expert rifleman, good conduct, American Theatre Ribbon, WW2 medal, Bronze Star metal. He was proud to have served his country.
Down through the years Tom was always being asked if people could shake his hand thanking him for his service. People would tell him that someone in their family served in WW2 and had since passed. Some even wanted to have pictures taken with him and tell him that his generation was the best ever. If not for the WW2 veterans we wouldn’t be here today. As well as all people that have served since and currently all over the world; he salutes them.
Tom has been honored many times throughout the years. He received many plaques for his service in war time and peace time for veterans. This last year he had been honored 9 times at least. He has been the recipient of 2+ Quilts of Valor, pictured in the DAV magazine, honored at the DAV convention, Hometown Hero of the Fourth of July by two separate ladies organizations in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Recently he was pictured on a billboard with 2 other WW2 service men for a whole month in honor of Veterans Day. He was also the second oldest living Veteran in the State of Idaho. He even had an autobiography written for him “The Life and Times of Tom Prall”.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, January 7, 2022 at the Valley Church, 2900 Life Way, Caldwell, ID 83605.
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