Maple Elclaudia Russell Pratt, of Fernandina Beach, Florida passed away on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at the Warner Center for Caring. She was born in Jacksonville, Florida to the late Samuel Rufus Russell and Gladys Elclaudia Baxter on February 24, 1922. At age 6, her parents brought her and her brother, Samuel, to Fernandina Beach, where she received her early education in the public school system. She graduated from Peck High School in the class of 1940. Soon after her brother enlisted in the military service, she met and married James Pratt and they remained residents of the Fernandina Beach community for 41 years. To that union, one son was born, James “Skipp” Pratt.
For a brief period in the 1950’s, she left the community and went to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee, Florida to study cosmetology and receive her associate degree. When she returned to Fernandina Beach, she set up her own business, popularly known as Maple’s Beauty Salon, where she served her community for 30 years. When she decided to close the shop, she continued serving the Nassau County Community as a Home Demonstration Extension Aide for more than 20 years.
At the same time she was developing her professional life, she maintained a strong religious foundation as a long-time faithful member of the Elm Street Church of God where she was an active teacher of senior ladies serving on the Senior Ladies Usher Board. She was also renowned for writing and directing creative plays and skits.
Maple was preceded in death by her husband, James Pratt, in 1986, her son, James “Skipp” Pratt, in 2009, and her brother, Samuel Russell, in 2002.
She enjoyed gardening, doing needlework, eating ice cream, and anything that allowed her to spend time with children.
Maple leaves behind her sister-in-law, Careta Rose Russell; a niece, Kathryn Helen Russell; two nephews, Kenneth Stanley Russell and John Samuel Russell; grand-nieces, Raven Russell Warren and Teresita Russell; grand-nephew, Tariq Russell; two god-daughters, Patricia Alberta and Carmen G. Emory; two god-sons, Adolphus White and Charles White, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be at 10:00 am on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at The Elm Street Church of God.
The family will receive friends Friday evening from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Oxley-Heard.
She will be laid to rest in Bosque Bello Cemetery.