LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Claude Prather, former district judge, dies at 71


Claude Randall Prather, who served eight years as a Jefferson District Court judge before losing his seat in the election last November, died Friday at his home. He was 71.

A graduate of Valley High School, Prather worked at General Electric's Appliance Park from 1960 until 1994, beginning as a tool and die apprentice and leaving as a labor relations specialist. He took night courses for 16 years at the University of Louisville to earn three degrees: a bachelor's in mathematics in 1966, a master's in business administration in 1972 and a law degree in 1976.

He opened a general law practice in 1978. By 1983 he was serving as assistant Jefferson County attorney, prosecuting cases in District Court. He held that post until 1998.

Prather ran for District Court judge twice before winning a seat on the bench in the 2002 election.

Prather was a Marine Corps veteran and an officer for the Marine Corps League. He had been president of the Middletown Optimists Club and was a member of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus and the International Association of Machinists Lodge 2409.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Faith, as well as by six sons, a brother, a sister and 11 grandchildren.