On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, Denise Patricia McGillicuddy Prater, 74, loving wife, mother, and grandmother, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loved ones. Denise was born on May 21,1948, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before settling down and starting her family in the Greater New Orleans area, she called many places home during her lifetime including Alabama, Washington D.C., and even Japan, where she spent 6 years of her childhood and eagerly learned to speak Japanese. Despite her many travels, she was always adamant that Birmingham, Alabama, was her true home.
Denise was a proud alumna of John Carroll Catholic High School and the University of Maryland, where she received her Bachelors of Education. She later earned her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from The American College of Education in Chicago, IL. Ever prideful of her family’s strong female lineage, Denise was always quick to boast about being the third in four generations of women college graduates including being the second of three to achieve her master’s degree. Mrs. Prater, as she was known to her students, was a beloved elementary school teacher of over 35 years throughout the New Orleans area, working mainly in Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes.
Denise married the love of her life, Roy “Kim” Prater, on November 26, 1977, at St. Louis Cathedral. Exemplifying unconditional love and devotion, she was a doting wife to her husband for 45 years. Together, Denise and Kim dedicated their life to raising their three daughters, Katie, Mary, and Bridget, and one son, Douglas. Denise enjoyed writing poetry, crafting books, and collecting antiques in her spare time.
She is survived by her adoring husband, Roy “Kim” Prater, her daughters, Kathryn “Katie” Prater, Bridget Prater-Smith (Frank III); her son, Douglas Prater, and her grandchildren, Frank “Kett” Burkette Smith IV and Birdie Mae Smith. She is preceded in death by her mother, Ruth McGillicuddy, her father, Raymond McGillicuddy, her sister, Carole Ann Vanderlip, her daughter, Mary Prater Sisk, and her grandchildren, Grayson Kane Sisk, Aurora Grace Sisk, Colson Bane Sisk, and Marigold Mahota Smith.
A memorial service will be held on December 3, 2022 at Mothe Funeral Home, 2100 Westbank Expressway, with visitation from 9am - 11am and services to follow in the chapel. In lieu of flowers, we ask that live plants be sent instead as the family will care for them in her memory. Charitable donations in honor of Denise Prater can be sent to Ronald McDonald House Charities and they will greatly be appreciated.
The family invites you to share your thoughts, fond memories, and condolences online at