Prats, Jorge

Jorge Prats, 91, of Galesburg, passed away on Thursday, March 28, 2024, surrounded by family at Seminary Manor.

Jorge was born August 1, 1932, in Barcelona, Spain and came to the United States in his twenties. After pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Illinois, he married Edda Leker and settled in Galesburg to teach at Knox College. He later completed a PhD at the University of Barcelona. 

During his nearly 40 years at Knox, Professor Prats taught Spanish language and literature. Ever interested in cross-cultural experiences, he established the Knox Barcelona Junior Year Abroad program and later led countless musical, athletic, alumni, and faculty groups to his native Catalonia, Spain. He also showcased life in the Midwest by bringing numerous Spanish students and musicians to Galesburg.

A lifelong soccer aficionado, Jorge founded and mentored Knox’s men’s and women’s soccer teams. As the men’s coach, he led the team to win the 1973 conference championship. Coach Prats was inducted into the Knox-Lombard Athletic Hall of Fame, and the college’s soccer field was later named in his honor.

Jorge’s initiative and enthusiasm enriched many lives. Whether traveling, enjoying live music, watching his beloved Barça, or sharing a good paella, he loved gathering people and celebrating life.

He was preceded in death by his wife Edda and is survived by his children Jordi Prats (Joanne) of Glendale, Missouri; Laura Prats-Aschheim of Santa Clara, California; John Prats (Jessica Jones) of Galesburg; his nephews Jorge Sieira (Carla Garcia) of Denver, Colorado and Alain Prats (Florence) of Lyon, France; four grandchildren; and extended family in Spain, France, and the US.

Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2024, at Watson Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg. Funeral Mass will be 10 a.m. Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Cremation will follow. A Celebration of Life event will be held at Knox College at a later date. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at