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Honoring The Memory Of Mr. Hugh Thomas Praytor, Jr.

Rep. Jo Bonner

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Mr. Speaker, Mobile County and indeed the entire state of Alabama recently lost a dear friend, and I rise today to honor him and pay tribute to his memory. Mr. Hugh Thomas Praytor, Jr., known as Tommy to his many friends, was a devoted family man and dedicated community leader throughout his life.

A native and lifelong resident of Mobile, Alabama, Tommy Praytor was a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and worked as a banker for 48 years. His first job, as a part-time counter at the old Merchants National Bank in Mobile, began during summer breaks during his time in college. Following his graduation, he took a full-time position at Merchants and worked in the bank's computer department. He continued his career with the bank after it became Regions Bank, and spent many years at the end of his career specializing in private lending and in bond issues for municipalities seeking infrastructure and other community improvements.

Even with his numerous professional obligations, Tommy also found time to involve himself in several Mobile community organizations. During his lifetime, he served as a group chairman for Alabama Young Bankers and was treasurer of the Mobile Big Game Fishing Club. Additionally, he served on or was affiliated with the Senior Bowl Committee, the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame, the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo, the Mobile Bass Master Club, and several Mardi Gras mystic organizations. He was also a longtime member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Mobile and spent several years as both a Sunday school teacher and a member of the church vestry.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in remembering a dedicated community leader and friend to many throughout south Alabama. Tommy Prayter, Jr., loved life and lived it to the fullest, and his passing marks both a loss for all of south Alabama and a personal loss for me. I was fortunate to call him my friend, and he will be deeply missed by one and all, most especially his family--his wonderful wife of 46 years, Jamie Catlin Praytor, his sons, Hugh Thomas Praytor, III, and Wilson Wrath Praytor, his daughter, Ellen Praytor Wingard, his sister, Carolyn Praytor Smith, and four grandchildren--as well as the countless friends he leaves behind. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all at this difficult time.