Michael “Mike” Neil Pritchard, most known as a member of Harvey and the Wallbangers band, was born with a guitar in his hand and a song in his heart on July 18, 1958, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
His 60 years of life inspired and encouraged others around the world through his music. Mike’s final song ended on February 24, 2019, as he left this world surrounded by his family and loved ones at his home in Yukon, OK.
Mike’s parents, Narvel and Pat (True) Pritchard, moved the family from the south side of Oklahoma City to Yukon just in time for Mike to start his freshman year at Yukon High School. There, he made many close friends and discovered a spark for musical entertaining with his part in Yukon High School’s “Bye Bye Birdie” musical.
But the real music began in his genes. His father Narvel led the choir at Yukon Free Will Baptist and guaranteed that gospel music flowed through Mike and his brothers, Stan and Mark. Teaching himself bass guitar, Mike had his first taste of music entertainment with the group “America’s Children.” While attending college at Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Mike made life-long friends with Scott Olson and roommate Gary Chapman. He also met a gorgeous girl, Teresa, who would later become an important part of his life.
Mike pursued a career in musical entertainment in 1984 when he, Harvey Burdg, and Dix Hinneke started the group Harvey & the Wallbangers. Their vintage rock ‘n’ roll sound promoted their celebrity status from Oklahoma City to London, England. Mike would tell you he “was a big deal” and enjoyed the spotlight. But he never forgot his Gospel roots.
Mike’s Gospel trio, Day III, produced soulful music and won the Country Music Singers Association of Oklahoma’s 2008 award for “Best New Group.”
In June of 2008, he reunited with Teresa Finch, who he had his eye on in college, and they joyously tied the knot in October. They spent every minute of their 10 years together traveling around the world, attending sports games, visiting family, and enjoying their three homes – in Yukon, Isle of Palms in South Carolina, and in London, England where they lived for the past 2 ½ years. He loved to proclaim himself as her “Trophy Husband.”
He loved their two children, English bulldog “Boomer” and French bulldog “Priscilla.” They lovingly laid to rest French bulldog “Elvis” who made the move with them to London.
Mike was The Entertainer. His notoriety gave him national recognition and he enjoyed the opportunity to swap stories with musical legends Jon Bon Jovi and Steven Tyler, and professional Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth “The Boz.” Mike came alive when he entertained and immediately would command any room he entered. Yet, he was also a Family Man: from Christmas Eve gatherings, to setting up an outdoor cinema projector screen at home, to becoming ordained in South Carolina online to officiate his daughter Leslie’s wedding in August 2016.
Mike would load up their Winnebago and tailgate at OU Sooner games, NASCAR races, and national golf tournaments. He always found time to attend sports events: Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Texas Motor Speedway, and any Sooner football game. Mike was a member of the Daniel Island Golf Club of Charleston, SC, and Highgate Golf Club in London. His last round of golf was played in Scotland with Teresa and brother Mark and wife Cathy to celebrate Mike and Teresa’s 10th wedding anniversary. He loved his family, especially Teresa and his daughters Leslie, Allyson, and Jillian, and will be dearly missed by all.
Mike is preceded in death by his father Narvel Pritchard; grandparents Elmer Noah Pritchard and Anges Holley; Aunts Wanda McAfee, Jody Hayden, and Joyce Potts; and Uncle Wayne Pritchard.
Mike is survived by his wife Teresa Pritchard; mother Pat Pritchard of Yukon; daughters Leslie and husband Elijah Roberts of Charleston, South Carolina, Allyson Pritchard of Oklahoma City, and Jillian and husband Jason Ball of Oklahoma City; grandchildren Liam Micah Ball and Palmer Kim Roberts; brothers Stan and wife Barbara Pritchard of OKC, and Mark and wife Cathy Pritchard of Yukon; and nieces and nephews Shannon McInnis, Pace and wife Amy Pritchard, Christopher and wife Jennifer Pritchard, and Garrett and wife Camille Pritchard.
A Celebration of Life service was Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 at 10 AM at The Bridge Church in Mustang, OK with burial to follow at Yukon Cemetery. Viewing took place Tuesday, February 26 from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. at Smith & Turner Mortuary in Yukon with family greeting friends from 5 – 7 p.m.