Allen J. Pratka went to be with the Lord on December 30, 2018 in Pleasanton at the age of 88. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Dorothy L. (Hickl) Pratka of Pleasanton; and their children, Diane Pratka of Pleasanton, Greg (Joy) Pratka of Pleasanton, Rod (Rhonda) Pratka of Comfort, Susan (Brad) Vogt of Canton and Darrell (Maureen) Pratka of Boerne and his only sibling, Sister Mary Yvonne Pratka of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston, 20 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
Allen was born to Joe T. and Frances H. (Chytka) Pratka on June 19, 1930 in Ganado as a second-generation Czech-American. He graduated from Ganado High School in 1948 and attended Wharton County Junior College briefly before entering the United States Air Force on January 16, 1951. He was selected for Pilot Training earning his “wings” October 25, 1952. Upon completion of combat crew training, he flew the F-84G during the Korean conflict in 1953. After returning stateside in 1954, Allen married the love of his life, Dorothy Hickl of El Maton on December 28, 1954. Several duty assignments and 5 children later, Allen served a tour of duty during the Vietnam conflict in 1966 – 1967 where he was assigned to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand. During his Air Force career, Allen flew various aircraft while earning an Aeronautical Engineering Degree from The University of Wyoming in 1963.
Allen’s assignments eventually took him to Kelly AFB in San Antonio and the family relocated to Pleasanton in 1970. He retired from the Air Force in 1973 after 23 years of service and continued his career in the aircraft industry teaching college courses in aircraft technology. Allen was an aviation enthusiast from his early childhood, throughout his military career and well into his retirement years building, restoring and flying countless experimental and antique aircraft.
Allen was a faithful and active member of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Pleasanton. He was instrumental in bringing the Men’s A.C.T.S. retreat to Atascosa County in the mid 1990s and especially invested his time and energy towards spiritual awareness. He was a man of many interests, pursuits and had tireless energy whether at work or play. Allen enjoyed sharing his love for flying, music, Bible studies, camping, traveling, and faith with his family, friends and others.
Visitation was held on Friday, January 4 at Hurley Funeral Home in Pleasanton from 2 until 9 p.m. (family present from 5-9 p.m.) with a Rosary recited at 7 p.m. A funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, January 5 at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Pleasanton at 10 a.m. Allen will be interned on January 10 at Ft. Sam Houston Cemetery in San Antonio at 10:45 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Franciscan Missionaries of the Eternal Word, 5821 Old Leeds Road, Irondale, Alabama, 35210.