James N. Pratley, 91, passed away in Galveston on Thursday, January 16, 2020. Born September 20, 1928 in Eastland, Texas, he was the son of the late Nicholas Pratley and Katherine Andrews. Mr. Pratley attended public schools in Galveston and graduated from Ball High School in l945. He earned his BA from Oberlin College in l949 and his PhD from the University of Texas, Austin in l957.
In the Korean War he served as an officer at the School of Aviation Medicine helping to develop and train pilots in high altitude flight and ejection seats. Most of his professional career was spent in California at San Jose State University where he was Director of the Electron Microscope Laboratories and Head of the Molecular and Cell Biology division. Author of numerous research papers, he retired early as Professor Emeritus devoting himself to a new career in fiction writing. He published five novels and several short stories in literary journals. He also owned and operated an Italian import boutique in Palo Alto, California.
He is pre-deceased by his parents, his sisters Mary Dorothy Brailas and Helen Jelson; his partner of 44 years Dr. Charles M. Devonshire; and his devoted friend, Marilyn Morrison. He is survived by many family members both here and abroad.
He was an avid pianist, tennis and bridge player, and world traveler. The Greek islands were his favorite haunt and from which he found inspiration for his philosophical, scientific, and literary pursuits. His main complaint of life was that too many of his friends and loved ones preceded his own death. Donations in his memory may be made to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church, P. O. Box 655, Galveston, Texas 77553-0655.