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Wednesday
Jul062011

« Dr. “Ric” Prael’s impressive legacy lives on in his children »

For years, Dr. Frederick “Ric” Prael was the embodiment of selfless giving, donating time and money to causes in his Whidbey Island community and beyond. He was an enthusiastic patron/philanthropist of the arts, of the schools, the shores, the watershed project, the local food bank, and he was a gracious host and mentor to students the world over with Rotary’s international student exchange program. Prael’s relatively sudden death from cancer left a community bereft of its favorite son, and a family without their beloved dad. 
Judy Bangs, Executive Director of the Snohomish County Dental Society, said “In the 22 years I’ve been here, Ric only missed two meetings. He was active on our executive committee, went through the chairs to serve as President, served on our Foundation Board, and was a WSDA Delegate for over 20 years. His legacy to dentistry and the community cannot be overstated.”
In naming Prael one of it’s “Hometown Heroes” last year, The Whidbey Island Record recalled that Prael believed in “scattering joy throughout the world”, and that “selfless acts for others were contagious.”
After his wife’s death in 1980, Prael raised his son Trace, and daughter Kate as a single father. Kate remembers, ““My dad never expressed regrets or disappointments about his life. In fact, he embraced it with exuberant compassion for others and contagious joy. I am fortunate to be the daughter of a man I would have picked as a mentor and friend.” Prael’s son, Trace has said, “My father was a person who embodied the word selfless. He was always on call for anyone that needed him, in the dentist office or in life.”
So, it came as no surprise to those who knew Prael or his children that when SCDS sought to honor him with a posthumous award, Kate and Trace instead asked that the money that would have been used to purchase the award (along with an additional donation of $500 from them) be donated to the Washington Oral Health Foundation, an organization with a mission similar to their dad’s. In a recent interview, Kate remarked that after retiring, her father had planned on working with Washington Oral Health Foundation to assist and offer dental education to South Whidbey, as well as additional communities in need, “Our dad really was a remarkable ambassador for his community, family, and the profession of dentistry.”
Saying that their father exemplified the spirit of Winston Churchill’s aphorism: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” Kate Prael Asgari continued, saying “His 37 years of service to the profession of family dentistry in the community of South Whidbey Island confirms this integrity. As his kids, we grew up believing one must derive inspiration from the type of work we choose. Our dad taught us by example that service to our community, wherever we may land, is a responsibility and a privilege. What we remember most is that our father derived great joy from his life of service.”
Langley business owner and chairman of the board of directors of Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Bob Thurmond was quoted in the Record’s “Hometown Hero” piece as saying “Many people know that Ric had a special interest in being part of a community that nurtures children and families. What few knew is the extent to which Ric has intervened personally in the lives of individuals to make sure they had opportunities to thrive and grow despite difficult circumstances. Humility, kindness and the strength of character to do the right thing define Ric’s legacy. His life shows us that patience and faith in others make a better life for each of us.”

For years, Dr. Frederick “Ric” Prael was the embodiment of selfless giving, donating time and money to causes in his Whidbey Island community and beyond. He was an enthusiastic patron/philanthropist of the arts, of the schools, the shores, the watershed project, the local food bank, and he was a gracious host and mentor to students the world over with Rotary’s international student exchange program. Prael’s relatively sudden death from cancer left a community bereft of its favorite son, and a family without their beloved dad.  Judy Bangs, Executive Director of the Snohomish County Dental Society, said “In the 22 years I’ve been here, Ric only missed two meetings. He was active on our executive committee, went through the chairs to serve as President, served on our Foundation Board, and was a WSDA Delegate for over 20 years. His legacy to dentistry and the community cannot be overstated.” In naming Prael one of it’s “Hometown Heroes” last year, The Whidbey Island Record recalled that Prael believed in “scattering joy throughout the world”, and that “selfless acts for others were contagious.” After his wife’s death in 1980, Prael raised his son Trace, and daughter Kate as a single father. Kate remembers, ““My dad never expressed regrets or disappointments about his life. In fact, he embraced it with exuberant compassion for others and contagious joy. I am fortunate to be the daughter of a man I would have picked as a mentor and friend.” Prael’s son, Trace has said, “My father was a person who embodied the word selfless. He was always on call for anyone that needed him, in the dentist office or in life.” So, it came as no surprise to those who knew Prael or his children that when SCDS sought to honor him with a posthumous award, Kate and Trace instead asked that the money that would have been used to purchase the award (along with an additional donation of $500 from them) be donated to the Washington Oral Health Foundation, an organization with a mission similar to their dad’s. In a recent interview, Kate remarked that after retiring, her father had planned on working with Washington Oral Health Foundation to assist and offer dental education to South Whidbey, as well as additional communities in need, “Our dad really was a remarkable ambassador for his community, family, and the profession of dentistry.” Saying that their father exemplified the spirit of Winston Churchill’s aphorism: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” Kate Prael Asgari continued, saying “His 37 years of service to the profession of family dentistry in the community of South Whidbey Island confirms this integrity. As his kids, we grew up believing one must derive inspiration from the type of work we choose. Our dad taught us by example that service to our community, wherever we may land, is a responsibility and a privilege. What we remember most is that our father derived great joy from his life of service.” Langley business owner and chairman of the board of directors of Whidbey Island Center for the Arts, Bob Thurmond was quoted in the Record’s “Hometown Hero” piece as saying “Many people know that Ric had a special interest in being part of a community that nurtures children and families. What few knew is the extent to which Ric has intervened personally in the lives of individuals to make sure they had opportunities to thrive and grow despite difficult circumstances. Humility, kindness and the strength of character to do the right thing define Ric’s legacy. His life shows us that patience and faith in others make a better life for each of us.”