Longtime Firefighter, Baseball Coach From Westchester Dies

A beloved firefighter, baseball coach, and Navy veteran from Northern Westchester is being remembered for his longstanding dedication to helping his community. 

Longtime Banksville Fire Department member Preston Pratley. 

Longtime Banksville Fire Department member Preston Pratley. 

Photo Credit: Banksville Fire Department

Banksville resident Preston Pratley died on Monday, May 27 at the age of 79, according to his obituary. 

Born in 1944, Pratley was born in Greenwich and later moved to Banksville after marrying his wife, Geraldine Kerslake, in May 1968. 

A graduate of St. Mary's High School in Greenwich, Pratley was a Navy veteran who also became a proud member of Local #38, Sheet Metal Workers. 

He was also a longtime member of the Banksville Fire Department, originally joining in 1971 and later becoming a lieutenant. In a post on social media after his death, his department memorialized Pratley, saying that he was always there to help at a moment's notice.

"With his home being just down the road, he was often one of the first members at the firehouse when the horn blew for a call," the department wrote, adding that he also always helped out at community events by cooking, cleaning up, or even playing the role of Santa Claus at children's parties. 

Pratley was also a sports lover, playing and coaching both baseball and hockey throughout his life. 

"He was a big kid at heart and loved making sure everyone always had fun," Pratley's obituary read. 

The Banksville Fire Department also commended his coaching skills: "For many of us, he will be remembered as the best baseball coach we ever had." 

Pratley is survived by his wife, Gerry; his son, Pres, and daughter, Wendy; his grandsons Jack, Ryan, and Luke; and his siblings Pat, Bill, and Dooney. 

A visitation for Pratley will be held on Thursday, May 30 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Castiglione Funeral Home in Greenwich at 544 Old Post Rd. #3

A Mass of Christian Burial will then be held on Friday, May 31 at 12 p.m. at St. Michaels Church in Greenwich at 469 North St. 

Pratley's full obituary can be read by clicking here. 

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