Stacy Kyle Pritchard, 51, died Friday, September 6, 2019 after a life-long battle with drug addiction. The son of G.L "Pete" and Betty S Pritchard, he was born on May 26, 1968 in Sumter, SC.
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Stacy was born the youngest of five children and he was our baby. A role he kept until he left this world. He was a beautiful little boy, full of mischief and unbridled energy. His eyes sparkled and his grin stole
everyone's heart. Always the center of attention, he was a lively performer. Whether it be dancing,
telling jokes, or acrobatics, he was the best at entertaining his audience. A gifted athlete, he excelled in football, baseball, and basketball. Coaches vied to have him on their team. He was a local young superstar winning several MVP awards throughout his childhood. He was especially proud to have been a starting player on the 1981 Dizzy Dean World Series Championship team. He began water skiing at the age of 3 years old, where he quickly became a trickster even learning to master "barefoot" skiing. Being a daredevil and so naturally gifted, there seemed to be nothing he could not master.
Stacy packed a lot of living into his first 17 years of life. His was a life filled with promise, with high expectations, and big dreams. He was a joy to those around him. He was truly gifted and a kind, loving, and extremely generous person.
It was at that age when his life began to change. Maybe as a result of pain meds for a broken bone - of which there were many- or maybe it was just a result of teenage curiosity, we will never know. What we do know, is that it was the beginning of a lifelong battle with drug addiction that ultimately destroyed his life.
During his early twenties he literally begged for help to get into a treatment center because he was losing the battle. We tried to find an inpatient facility to treat him. After much searching, we finally found one but they required a court order. We reached out to a local judge and he told us he could not order treatment unless Stacy had criminal charges. Less than 6 months later, standing in that same courtroom, Stacy was sentenced to 10 years incarceration. He never got his rehab.
During the next 30 years Stacy was in and out of prison and rehab centers as a result of his addiction. Each time he came home, he was full of hope and determination to stay clean. With the love and support of his family, he would stay clean, until the demon stalker would steal him away. This cycle continued like a revolving door throughout his life. He repeatedly asked for help. He voluntarily entered
rehab on several occasions trying to defeat his demons. You see, he did not want to be a drug addict. No
one chooses to be a drug addict. Addiction is a disease, a cancer that takes control and destroys anyone in its path. It does not discriminate. It has no mercy. It destroys people, families, and loved ones. It steals hopes and dreams, and health and happiness, and eventually life.
Through our heartache and tears, we are left with this peace. In his early twenties, Stacy asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior. He was baptized with his Daddy and brother and became a child of God. He gave his testimony publicly and how we wish we could have recorded that testimony. His passion and his love for Jesus Christ was something to see and experience through his eyes. We take great comfort in that assurance. Even through his years of struggling with his addiction, Stacy never stopped proclaiming his faith. He was often heard sharing his testament and his faith. He spent much time during the last few weeks trying to prepare us and assuring us that his relationship with God was rock solid. His faith was unwavering. He knew his days on this earth were few. He spoke plainly and honestly that God was
calling him Home. He spent many days the last few weeks apologizing and making peace with each one of us close to him. He actually said, "Please tell everyone who I've hurt or wronged that I'm sorry. That isn't the real me. I'm so sorry."
We grieve the loss of our son, our father, our brother, our uncle. We grieve for the loss of what his life could have been. We grieve for all the pain and suffering he endured on this earth. However, we rejoice in the knowledge that he is finally at peace in the presence of our Lord and Savior.
Surviving along with his mother is a daughter, Kristian Pritchard; five siblings, Joy P. Hanna (Paul), Sherry P. Compton (Kelly Gannon), Bonny Scott (Clint), Barry S. Pritchard (Stacie), and Will Hudson (Tammie); six nephews, Michael Hanna, Tyler Scott, Steven Hanna, Brayden Scott, Cecil “Trey” Scott, and Hunter Pritchard; one niece, Baylee Scott; and several cousins and other extended family members.
In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by a nephew, Collin Thomas Scott.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Wise Drive Baptist Church with the Rev. Dr. Dearld Sterling officiating. Burial will be in the Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be his nephews, Michael Hanna, Tyler Scott, Steven Hanna, Brayden Scott, and Hunter Pritchard; and his friend, Richie Barwick.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Elmore-Cannon-Stephens Funeral Home and other times at home of his brother, 1180 Rockdale Blvd., Sumter.
Memorials may be sent to Wise Drive Baptist Church, 2751 S. Wise Dr,. Sumter, SC 29150.