Cover photo for John "Bingo" Pritchard's Obituary
John "Bingo" Pritchard Profile Photo
1936 John 2021

John "Bingo" Pritchard

November 25, 1936 — July 27, 2021

John “Bingo” Paul Pritchard

On November 25, 1936, “Bingo” decided to interrupt the preparation of Thanksgiving dinner and made his appearance in the world. He was born to Diane and Robert Pritchard that day, joining 10 siblings. When he was delivered by Dr. John Paul Ritchie, he told the family, “Bingo! This is the last one.” That name has been his for the remainder of his life. Before entering school, Dr. Ritchie told Diane “Bingo” needed a real name, so she named him after John Paul Ritchie.

Bingo had a very interesting life. When a small tyke of 5, he lost his father due to heart disease. This was a trial for the family, so all the boys (8) helped support the family, so little “Bingo” and all his curly hair sold newspapers downtown after the late edition came out.

He attended grade school off and on in Missoula (he once got caught skipping school by the truant officer. When he was found at home and the officer asked him what his name was, he replied John Paul Jones, seeing the humor in that, the truant officer did not take him to school. He just went to visit with Diane at her job.

Later, Diane moved to Anaconda, where Bingo spent his teen years. He loved sports and acquired many awards in basketball during his freshman year. When he was old enough to work, he gained employment at the Anaconda Smelter. At the age of 19, he was taking a fellow employee home in the middle of the night, he was hit by a drunk driver which changed his life dramatically. His legs were severely damaged, which the physician wanted to amputate. He told everyone “absolutely not, I am going to my grave with them.” So he had multiple surgeries and casts for the next three years which did not change who he was - it just made him stronger and better. He teased the nurses constantly, according to many stories and continued to be a prankster with his friends and acquaintances during his recovery. (Oh, the stories were many and hilarious that he has shared about that time!)

After his recovery, he returned to Missoula where he attended the local business college. He obtained his completion of school on the job (night shift) at St. Patrick Hospital where he did billing and posting for the rest of his career. He remained there 28 years. The Hospital sent him to Los Angeles to learn computer applications. On his return, he started the Data Processing Department. At St. Pats he made numerous friends and business affiliates. He was a perfect propronent and representative for St. Pats where he watched the department grow. He was subsequently made the director of that department.

In 1972, he met his wife to be, Carlene, through his niece, Tammy. They were married on August 6, 1973, in Las Vegas (losing his title ‘most available bachelor’ at St. Pats where both were employed).

After 28 years walking on the cement hospital floors, and seeing the new hospital constructed, the new data department completed, Bingo retired on disability related to the traffic accident in his early years.

Bingo was a very special person to many people. He touched many lives. He was quiet, private, but had a great personality. He loved to tease people and had a dry sense of humor with a quick comeback for all. He has been deeply loved by all his siblings and families and his wife’s brother and sister and family.

He was proceeded in death by his grandparents, parents, siblings and spouses which include Sherman, Dickie, Jerry, Lola May, Tom, Fritz, Bobbie, Diane and Sandra. He is survived by his loving wife, Carlene of nearly 48 years; brother Ronald in Helena; numerous nieces and nephews across the United States and a daughter, Peggy and her 4 children.

He loved animals and always had a dog in his life as his buddies and “spoiled kids”. Peppie, his last buddy remains with Carlene at the family home. He loved and collected hummingbirds, an avid TV watcher and could share abundant trivia regarding shows and movies and celebrities. He also enjoyed Las Vegas and the entertainment provided there over the years. He really enjoyed the squirrels and birds that were the outside part of their home.
He passed away July 27, in the early morning hours with his wife and nephew and spouse by his side, after having been diagnosed with metastatic cancer only three weeks previously.

He will be missed greatly by family and multiple friends and people he touched.

Per his request, there will be no service following cremation by Garden City Funeral and Crematorium.

When you see a a hummingbird, a Hummel figurine, a squirrel or friendly puppy, send a brief thought his way. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations made be made the Animal Control, 6700 Butler Creek Rd, Missoula, Mt 59808 or Hospice of Missoula 1900 So. Reserve Street, Missoula, Mt 59801.

Deepest appreciation to the many family and friends who supported him and cared for him both physically, mentally and spiritually. Staff at 5 North at St. Pats and Hospice were so appreciated as well in the last weeks of his life.
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