Jennifer A. Pratt, M.D
Jennifer A. Pratt, M.D

November 18, 1952 - May 25, 2017
Born in Stuttgart, Germany
Resided in Golden, CO
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Obituary

Jennifer Alva Pratt, M.D., died peacefully May 25, 2017, surrounded by her family at her home in Golden, Colorado after a long struggle with pancreatic cancer. She is pre-deceased by her parents and older brother Charles Lincoln and survived by older brothers Bill and George Pratt, her husband of 37 years Donald Hudson, daughter Cari and sons Jeffrey and Connor. The daughter of U.S. Army Sergeant Sidney Pratt of Boston, Mass. and the former Alva Bengtson of Barre, Vermont, she was born November 18, 1952 in Stuttgart, Germany. Similar to many "Army brats," she spent her early childhood years shuttling among bases in Germany, Georgia and California. Upon her father's retirement from the Army in 1966, the family settled in Salinas, California, where her mother also worked as a nurse.
After her 1970 graduation from Salinas High School, she attended the University of California, Santa Cruz for two years before following in her mother's footsteps and enrolling in the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. As she progressed in that 3-year nursing program, Jennifer became increasingly interested in becoming a doctor and was encouraged by some of her nursing instructors to consider a career as a physician. She graduated from the University of California School of Nursing on July 24, 1975 as the recipient of the Florence Nightingale Award given to the Distinguished Graduate – and began required pre-medical school classes at the University of California, Berkeley the very next day. After completing pre-med courses at Berkeley she was accepted at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical School, beginning classes in the fall of 1976. She was an exemplary medical student at UCSF and while there she met and fell in love with her future husband, Donald Hudson, M.D., a psychiatry resident in training at UCSF.
Upon her graduation from medical school in May, 1980, Jennifer began a long and distinguished career as a physician by accepting a resident training position in Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. She and Don lived in Boston during her Internal Medicine training and were married in March, 1981. They returned to San Francisco in 1983, where Jennifer continued her training as a resident, Internal Medicine at UCSF. Don was pursuing a career in the U.S. Air Force and this led to a 1984 move to San Antonio Texas, where Jennifer earned a Masters in Public Health degree (M.P.H.) from the University of Texas, San Antonio. In addition, she earned Board Certification in Emergency Medicine and was Director of the Emergency Room at the Audie Murphy VA Medical Center in San Antonio. In 1985, the couple returned yet again to the San Francisco Bay Area and Jennifer was appointed as Chief Resident, Internal Medicine, UCSF Hospitals.
In the summer of 1987, the couple made their final permanent move to the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. Jennifer continued working in Emergency Medicine as the Assistant Director of the Emergency Room at Mercy Medical Center in Denver. In 1989, she joined the Kaiser Permanente of Colorado Medical Group for what would turn out to be a nearly 28 year career until her retirement in early 2017. During her long association with Kaiser Permanente, Jennifer worked as both an Emergency Room Director and, later in her career, as a staff physician at several of the Kaiser Outpatient Adult Clinics in the Denver system. She also continued a life-long quest for knowledge and expertise in non-traditional medical disciplines, in 2000 earning a Ph.D. in Naturopathy from Clayton College of Natural Health.
While medicine was her professional calling, she was equally passionate about developing a personal relationship with God and her devotion to her family. Amazingly, while working full-time as an Emergency Room Director, she also joined the ranks of "older Moms", giving birth to 3 children starting at age 36. She continued to work full-time for 20+ years, raising her children and functioning as a "tennis team Mom" for 12 consecutive years as well. All 3 are healthy, happy, young adults starting out on professional careers of their own. Particularly over the last decade, she was committed to a life of regular centering prayer and this helped give her the strength to face life's challenges, including an extremely painful struggle with pancreatic cancer, with fortitude, grace and serenity. Even as she approached the end of her life, she never hesitated to reach out to family members and friends in need. She loved her husband and children fiercely and while those of us who knew her best will miss her greatly, she instilled in us a determination to put our trust in God, live life to the fullest, and respect our fellow human beings.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Jennifer's memory may be made to Denver Rescue Mission: www.denverrescuemission.org; Heifer International: www.heifer.org; or Denver Dumb Friends League: www.ddfl.org.

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