EULOGY OF CHARLES MICHAEL PRATER
Charles Michael Prater, age 71, was born on June 16, 1945 and departed this life on April 29, 2017. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl C. “Bob” and Gertrude “Trudy” Prater.
Mike is survived by his wife, Glistina Prater, a son, Michael David Prater of Lexington, KY, two daughters, Jessica Lee Arnett of Salyersville, KY and Erica Jo Cobb of Morganfield, KY, one brother, Bobby Ray and wife Paulette of Salyersville, KY and three grandchildren, Bailey Grace Arnett, Hudson Cobb and Josie Harper Cobb.
Mike graduated from Salyersville High School and went on to graduate from Eastern Kentucky University. While at Eastern, he met and married Carol Hutchinson. To this union were born three children, Michael David, Jessica Lee and Erica Jo.
Mike and Carol moved back to Salyersville where Mike donned many different hats throughout the years. He taught in the Magoffin County School System, was Headstart Director, Salyersville City Manager, Salyersville City Councilman, high school tennis coach not to mention team bus driver, Magoffin County Treasurer, Magoffin County Election Board Member, Salyersville National Bank Board Member, and score tabulator for the Miss Magoffin Pageants.
In 1968, Mike started Prater’s Tax Service from his home in Dixie. He would run Prater’s Tax Service right up until his death, even filing several extensions for some of his clients on April 17, just a couple of weeks ago.
On September 17, 2005, Mike married Glistina Helton. When they weren’t traveling, they loved spending time with family and friends, and Mike particularly liked to relax on the deck of his beautiful pond.
He loved the game of tennis and coached the Magoffin County High School team for approximately 10 years. At the end of a pretty day, you would often find him walking across the parking lot from his house to the Ramey Park tennis courts where he spent countless nights playing the game that he loved. He was very competitive as those who played with him or against him can attest. He loved arguing a line call or out of bounds call better than anyone and he would get offended if you questioned the way he saw the ball bounce. He also played in numerous tournaments throughout the area and always loved competing for medals at the Bluegrass State Games each summer in Lexington.
Another passion of his was college football. The invention of the DVR may have been one of the most significant in modern history for Mike because it meant he could record several games and watch them when he had downtime or when he was working on taxes from his home. He had at least 3 DVR’s in his house and all of them were filled to capacity with college football games. He loved to go watch his alma mater, EKU when they had home games in Richmond or anywhere else close by.
Mike was a devout Christian who loved the Lord and loved his church family. He had made peace with the fact that his earthly body would soon fail him and he was ready to be with his Lord. I am sure if he were able to talk to us today, he would want to make sure that his friends and family had that same peace that comes from being a child of God.
The past few months as his health declined, Mike’s humor and kindness never faded. During one of his hospital stays, a couple members of the church had come to visit but he was asleep the entire length of their visit. As they were leaving, they decided to have prayer and took Mike by the hands. As they were praying, they kept getting louder and louder, to the point where Mike was startled awake and said, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! I’m not dead yet!”
During his brief stay at the Salyersville Healthcare Facility, the love for Mike was evident in the countless visitors who would often spill out into the hallway. His best friend and business partner Doug Mortimer would stop in 4-5 times a day to sit with him. Doug even arranged to have Mike’s TV on Fox News when he reached the facility and made sure he had earbuds to listen to his Charles Stanley app that he would often fall to sleep with each night.
The family, would like to thank everyone at the Salyersville Healthcare Center for the outstanding and gracious treatment that Mike received there. We would also like to thank Anita Prater and Arminta Wheeler who would spend the overnight hours tending to him.
In closing, an excerpt from a Charles Stanley devotion that epitomizes how Mike saw his life on earth coming to an end:
“For the believer, death is not a fearsome end. It is the doorway to a new life of serving the Lord in heaven. Our days on earth are just the beginning of our existence; they will seem like only a few minutes compared to an eternity spent in His presence in Heaven”.