Tyler John Prater
Dec. 31, 1993 – July 3, 2019
Tyler John Prater was born in Robbinsdale, MN to Paige (Pryd) Lenius and the late James “Jimmy” Prater. He passed away unexpectedly, without intention, in Otsego, MN at the age of 25. Tyler leaves behind his loving mother, Paige and stepfather, Matthew Lenius; though Tyler’s spirit and legacy live on through the light of his life and “mini me,” son Elliot James Prater Fields. Tyler will also be greatly missed by his brothers Nicholas and Alexander Prater of Otsego; grandparents Richard Pryd of Maple Grove and Edward and Jean Prater of Park Rapids; as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Born the middle son of three boys, Tyler was anything but a typical middle child. He marched to the beat of his own drummer, challenged the norm, was an independent and creative thinker; and had a comeback for everything. Especially with his mom and brothers. In fact, he loved to provoke people just for the fun of it, which is how he showed his love and affection for them. Tyler also had a sense of humor, and his favorite phrase was, “that’s in the past.” If the laundry was left in the dryer and he was called out for it, he’d say, “But that’s in the past, mom!”
Tyler was a 2012 graduate of Rogers High School in Rogers, MN. He was a smart person and success was important to him—as soon as he was old enough, Tyler was eager to make his own money and started to work. His first job was at Godfather’s Pizza, before he took a different position with Super Bowl in Anoka, MN, where he worked his way up to manager. People saw his potential and appreciated his loyalty. It was during this time that someone suggested he consider becoming a lineman but that he needed to “drop a few” to be able to climb up electrical poles. It was a physically demanding job.
Once he got any idea into his head, he wouldn’t stop until he achieved the desired outcome. He researched schools with lineman programs, took the entrance test at Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Baudette, MN and failed it. The person he worked with at the school gave him another chance and held the last available spot in the program saying, “Don’t let me down!” And Tyler didn’t. It wasn’t long before he had earned an advanced diploma and became a lineman for Xcel Energy in 2016. During this time, he also worked hard to lose nearly half his body weight through diet and exercise, all within less than a year. That’s how determined Tyler could be.
After joining Xcel, he still wanted more and started dabbling in car sales, which eventually turned into his own business. This made him very proud. By this time, Tyler was also engaged to be married to his girlfriend of several years, Katie Fields, and the two welcomed a son, Elliott James. Though the engagement didn’t work out, having a son changed Tyler’s life for the better. With the way he talked about Elliott, it was clear he meant everything to him. He recently described picking him up from daycare and how much it touched his heart seeing Elliott’s face light up as he ran to him. We are so thankful that Tyler experienced that special connection, just days before his passing.
When not at work or with Elliott, Tyler did a lot with his family and brothers. Together, they were avid bowlers and competed in many tournaments; and they loved to snowmobile. They also spent a lot of time at grandma and grandpa’s cabin in Park Rapids and took family trips to Devil’s Lake, Mexico and Las Vegas.
Perhaps more than what he did, Tyler will be forever remembered for how he made others feel. Tough-talking on the outside, he had a heart of gold on the inside and felt responsible for his friends and his brothers, especially after their father, Jimmy, passed away in 2014. He went out of his way to support and protect his family, and he often put the needs of others ahead of his own. There are no words to describe the empty space and loss we all feel in our hearts without him. Though hard, we find some peace to know he was greeted by his father, Jim, into Heaven.
Please join us to honor and remember Tyler during a visitation from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 11 at Kozlak-Radulovich Funeral Chapel, located at 13745 Reimer Dr. N. in Maple Grove, MN. A memorial service to celebrate Tyler’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 12 at the Catholic Church of St. Gerard, 9600 Regent Avenue N., Brooklyn Park, MN following a brief visitation at 10 a.m. A private, graveside interment for family will follow the service at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN.