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Langley mayor proclaims 'Dr. Ric Prael Week'
Mayor Paul Samuelson has issued a proclamation making the first week of May this year “Dr. Ric Prael Week” in honor of the beloved dentist and community standout who passed away in January.
Samuelson presented the special honor on Sunday at the dedication of the new Ric Prael Administrative Offices at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley.
Prael retired from a 35-year career as a dentist in 2010, but his roots on Whidbey stretched back to 1953, when his family moved to Oak Harbor from the San Francisco area. He attended Oak Harbor High School and graduated from the University of Washington, and later opened his dental practice in downtown Langley in October 1974.
At the city council meeting Monday, Samuelson recalled his long friendship with Prael — he was a regular customer when the mayor had his barbershop in town — and said it was a heartfelt honor and a privilege to be able to share memories at the community gathering to honor Prael on May 1.
Samuelson said the celebration easily drew a crowd of more than 200 who came out to remember Prael.
“It was a really, really wonderful time,” Samuelson said. “It was really sweet.”