The Loss of TJ Prater
Kelby Tomlinson of the Giants endured an emotionally draining week with the passing of both his father-in-law and sister-in-law’s brother – two people he considered close.
Cowley County sheriff’s deputies reported Tuesday evening that Timothy James “TJ” Prater, 35-years old, died after being run over by a pickup truck on 152 Rd. in rural Cowley County near Winfield.
Early Life and Education
TJ Prater was an integral member of Burden, Kansas community and had an unshakable dedication to his family. He served in children’s ministry at First Baptist Church as well as being on its school board, followed his sports teams like San Francisco Giants and Oklahoma University closely, married Sheena Fraley in 2005 and shared ownership of Palace Barber Shop – an old-fashioned barbershop in Winfield Kansas together with Sheena Fraley.
On Tuesday afternoon, TJ Prater, 35 years old and an active community member was killed when his pickup truck collided with an inspection vehicle 15 miles east of Winfield while inspecting broken shift linkages. TJ left behind two daughters and granddaughter. Donations are being accepted in his honor towards funeral costs – visit here if you would like to contribute. TJ will surely be missed by many members of our community.
Prater has established himself as an efficient kicker in the NFL for much of his career, known for having powerful and accurate legs. Over the last seven seasons he has made 81% of all field goal attempts!
Prater stands out not only by his outstanding kicking ability but also because of his dedication as a teammate and community volunteer.
After graduating from UCF in 2013, he signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions as a free agent, holding both coach Jim Caldwell and team highly in regard. Now eight years later he will join fellow UCF alumni Josh Sitten in playing in the Pro Bowl together!
TJ Prater was an engaged member of his community and church activities throughout his life, loving family life as much as being an avid San Francisco Giants and Oklahoma University fan. Additionally, he enjoyed hunting and filming outdoor projects with friends.
Prater was raised in a military family and traveled widely, which provided him with valuable life lessons on working hard and being loyal. His passion was family life; all who knew him found great comfort in him as they remembered all he stood for.
Kansas town Winfield is in mourning over the loss of one of their most cherished citizens, 35-year-old Timothy James “TJ” Prater. On Tuesday evening, his pickup rolled over him at a residence along 152 Road about 15 miles east of Winfield and claimed his life.
He is survived by his wife, Betty; two sons: Thomas “TJ” Utt Jr. from Ravenna and Terri Prater of Brimfield; two daughters Sarah (James) Prater from Mogadore and Jessie Prater-Smetts of Burden; eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was an active member of First Baptist Church Liberal and regularly participated in community projects; also serving as Chaplain for Liberal Police Department as well as on its school board.
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