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Michael Vlock
Robert E. Shure Funeral Home
543 George Street
New Haven, CT
Beloved husband of Karen L. Pritzker, father of Allison Schwartz, Dana Schwartz, Julia Vlock and Theodore Vlock, devoted son of Jay and Laurel Vlock, stepson of Gail Brekke Vlock, brother of Daniel Vlock (Joyce Meyers) and Sandra Vlock and devoted uncle to numerous nieces and nephews, died Friday, Sept 29 at his home in Branford CT after a frustrating but valiant fight against mesothelioma. Michael leaves behind a huge group of bereft friends and business associates who appreciated his unfailing kindness, wicked wit and sense of purpose and integrity. "He changed peoples' lives, whether it was persuading an influential person to help a young person get a job, or mentoring or promoting someone starting a new business. He stood up for people and never passively sat by," said his wife Karen Pritzker. Michael Vlock received a BA from Hampshire College, where he pioneered new techniques in laser holography. After rejecting a scholarship to the School of Visual Arts at MIT he entered Boston College Law School, where he received a JD. He never practiced a day but used his legal skills in service to his career as a serial entrepreneur, starting and selling numerous companies. A holder of several patents, Michael had an inventive mind and an inquisitive spirit. An avid fisherman, he once hooked a 42-inch bass and spent most summer evenings on the water. He took up flying in his 50s, and ferried his friends and family all over the Northeast. He found solace in seeing the world from a whole new perspective. An outspoken and articulate leader on many issues, Michael organized a student protest resulting in the closing of Westover Air Force Base during the Vietnam War, and he continued to speak out on political issues throughout his life. But he wasn't rigid in his beliefs. A longtime contributor to the Republican Party, in 2016 he made a statement to the New York Times about Donald Trump that was widely quoted: "He's an ignorant, amoral, dishonest and manipulative, misogynistic, philandering, hyper-litigious, isolationist, protectionist blowhard." Politics wasn't the only area in which Michael sought to make a difference. Dismayed by the deceptive advertising he saw every day and the government's inability to protect consumers from the plethora of scams in the marketplace, he came up with the idea for a nonprofit organization that would help protect and educate consumers. Recognizing that the rise of the internet and the ability to easily disseminate information to the public could produce abuses, Michael founded and served as Chairman of the Board of, a consumer advocacy organization focused on outing false and deceptive marketing. Since launching in 2013, this passion project of Michael's has had a positive impact on countless numbers of people, been responsible for eliminating thousands of deceptive claims from the marketplace, and shifted entire industries to be more honest in their advertising. The organization has established itself as an essential resource for consumers, the press, and businesses who share Michael's vision of ensuring that companies are held accountable for misleading messaging. He ceaselessly worked to make the world a better place. Together with his wife, through their Seedlings Foundation, Michael made meaningful contributions to The Yale Medical School, The Yale School of Architecture, Long Wharf Theater, and The CT News Mirror, as well as a foundational gift to the new Neo-Natal Unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. He championed numerous causes from creating open space for all to use and protected from development in Branford CT, where he lived. He saw himself as not only a champion of causes, but of people too. He supported job-training programs, paid for schooling and secured jobs for people of all ages. LaunchCapital, an early stage investment firm, was Michael's brainchild and it has created 9,000 jobs and invested in 220 businesses. Through the Pritzker/Vlock Family Office he invested in many more endeavors, including a partnership with his brother Dr. Daniel Vlock that led to many drug development ventures from cancer therapy to curing super bugs. He used his power to empower others, and his business success to serve the public good. His humor and outspokenness will be missed, but the ways in which he worked to make a difference will live on.
Funeral Services will be held at 2 PM Tuesday October 3, 30 Linden Point Road, Branford ,CT and Shiva immediately after the service at the Vlock house, 235 Thimble Islands Road from and a second Shiva will be held Wednesday Oct 4 also at 235 Thimble Island Road from 6pm to 8pm. Arrangements are in care of Robert E. Shure Funeral Home, New Haven, Ct.

Published by The New Haven Register on Oct. 1, 2017.
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Funeral service
30 Linden Point Road, Branford, CT
Vlock house
235 Thimble Islands Road, CT
6:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
235 Thimble Island Road, CT
Funeral services provided by:
Robert E. Shure Funeral Home
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39 Entries
Dear Karen, Hope you all are handling the Pandemic as best you can. Three days ago my wife said - 'remember what Michael Vlock said in the NY Times? Still the wittiest and most comprehensive analysis I have seen.' It brought a smile to my face, and that is what Michael meant to me - a guaranteed smile. It would sure be great to have his goodwill to draw upon in these times. Hope to cross paths with you one of these days, and will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. Love
Stephen (and Wendell) - and Kyle (inside joke).
Stephen Cunningham
September 25, 2020
Michael will never be forgotten; his values are reflected in all of Karens great work and in the lives of the children. His memory is a blessing!
Lindy Lee Gold
September 25, 2019

I am so glad that you had a full and good life with Michael.
He was very lucky to have you as his wife.

Ned Marini
ned marini
March 4, 2019
Karen, I just found out about the loss of your husband, Michael. From what I read, he was an amazing, caring, creative person who inspired many. Words can not express my sorrow for you and your family. I wanted to reach out to you and send my deepest and sincerest condolences to you and your family. I wish you peace. Big hugs. Cindy Cort
Cindy Cort
July 21, 2018
He helped create some awesome memories with his continued ticket donations to Vet Tix... He will never be forgotten by myself and many others.

Here's what some of those donations meant...

Mike Focareto CEO/VetTix
Michael Focareto
December 12, 2017
I am so very much shocked and saddened to hear of Michaels passing. My heart goes out to you and your family. He was a great man, who has done many great things. I know that he was not one to ever back away from doing the difficult. I was especially honored to play a small part in bringing one of his ideas to life, and will forever cherish the little time that I have spent with him and your family.


Len Stobar.
Len Stobar
November 18, 2017
There is going to be a supreme void in the home, after 21 years allowing me to prepare and serve meals to Michael, Karen & the kids. Michael never failed to compliment me. Now God is my replacement.
I am confident Michael will be well served. God Bless you, Monk-Monk (Monn).
bianca hunt
November 15, 2017
Dear Loved Ones of Michael,
I am stunned that he is gone. And amazed by the stories of his life and generosity that he never spoke about. Inch by inch, minute by minute, may your broken hearts begin the difficult journey of healing. As the Italians say, "arms around you" through it all.
Faith Middleton
October 18, 2017
Dear Karen, we are shocked and saddened to hear of Michael's untimely passing. But please know that he is at peace and in good hands with the Lord. If you need any help from our end here, please do not hesitate to call on us. Our deepest sympathies to you and your family Karen.
Warmly, Michelle & Tony, Tuckers Town Road, Bermuda
October 11, 2017
Michael will very much be missed, he was such an awesome influence to so many peoples life's. Rest In Peace Michael
Greg Echols
October 4, 2017
Dear Karen & Family;

I am so deeply heart-broken for all of you.

Your tribute here, along with his accomplishments for our community are truly astounding.

He was an icon of a man, a loving father, and an adoring and doting husband. We should all be so blessed.

Those of us who knew him are fortunate indeed. I will always cherish my fond memories of him.

I'll never forget the few moments I had alone with Michael in 2012 when he stopped by my office. He shared a video via his phone on a project he was quite enthusiastic about; motorized surf boards! I, in turn, was simply enthusiastic about just being with him.

Earlier this year, I shared a picture with him of his beloved Chloe via my phone and wishes for a speedy recovery. He thanked me.

We loved Michael - but who didn't ?

I am so sorry - we've all lost a galaxy of a man.

Peace, light, and sympathies to all of you.


Chris Bracken
October 4, 2017
That is the most uplifting loving tribute to a loved one that I have ever read. I am so sad for you loss but very few people are fortunate enough to have experienced a love like that. He will live in your heart forever.
Mary Minaudo
October 4, 2017
I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. He was quite extraordinary and what an amazing life he led.
Kathleen Norwood Crisafi
October 4, 2017
Our deepest condolences are with your family. I truly enjoyed spending great evenings with Michael and your family over the last 8 years at Yankee Stadium. He became a wonderful friend, and I am sorry for your loss. My love to you all. Roberto Mignone
Roberto Mignone
October 3, 2017
So sorry Karen. Kitty & I send our love. You and your family are in our thoughts.

- David R.
October 3, 2017
Karen, Jim, Gail, Sandy, Dan and family,

We mourn and grieve for Michael and we offer you and your family our sympathy and love.

Michael lived life of meaning with purpose and passion.

Edna and Herb Newman
October 3, 2017
sending my condolences to you and your family, Ian Carruthers.
October 3, 2017
Dear Karen and Children, Jim, Gail, Sandra, Daniel, and All members of the family,

Please accept my deepest condolences on the terrible loss of Mike.

With love to all,
Ewa Buttolph
October 3, 2017

I am so sorry for your loss. Michael was truly an amazing person! He had great business acumen and would immediately "get it" and was always right on! I learned so much from Michael. His spirit and guidance will always be with me and I am grateful for this gift he gave me.
Christine de los Reyes
October 3, 2017
Keith and I are so sorry for your loss. Truly the world has lost a great man. Our hearts are heavy for you and your family. Please be assured of our continued thoughts and prayers. Our deepest sympathy.
Susan and Keith Gonnelly
October 2, 2017
Our deepest condolences to you and the family. You are in our prayers and thoughts.
Diana & Peter Bridges
October 2, 2017
Karen , Jim and the entire Vlock Pritzker family.
My sincere condolences on the passing of Michael.
I had the opportunity to get to know him in my early years when our families gathered around Rose and then Laurel.
Later in my professional life we reconnected around the important work refurbishing Yales properties.
I will miss him as will the entire Newman family.
Along with Herb and Edna , and our children Louise and Silas we pray for healing and embrace the fond memories of Michael.
Our deepest sympathies,
Peter and Michelle Newman
October 2, 2017
God bless him for all the good he has done. His support has healed so many people. What a fabulous way to go through the world.
Marguerite Purcell
October 2, 2017
My heart and prayers for strength are with all of you. Michael's achievements were many and varied, but his values were explicit. The love of family dominated every thought and deed. You have all lost too many too soon. I send my love and condolences and feel impotent to give you comfort.
LIndy Lee Gold
October 2, 2017
Dear Karen and Family,
I am of heavy heart for your loss of Michael. Michael leaves a Legacy of making this world a better place for the thousands of people he used his voice and actions to advocate for justice. Sending prayers during this most difficult time of loss. I love you, Jim
October 2, 2017
I join my mother, Zdena, to say how sorry I am that Micheal died so youg.
I met him when I was a child, and I remember he was truly a nice man. I realize a was also a mensch by reading the obituary.
Lionel Galliez
October 2, 2017
Dear Karen,

So sorry to hear about Michael, and so grateful to him for his warmth and wit through so many years. We last spoke in July, when he chastised me for worrying about him, emphasizing that he has had a fantastic life and was confident that he would beat this disease. Before then, we spoke about his brilliant criticisms of the leading Republican candidate for the presidency, and actually worked together on an Op-ed piece for the Times. Memories of our Jokevision, ValueVision, and cooking channel shared experiences are still vivid, along with our time together on the ski slopes of Colorado. Meeting you as well, laughing about the challenges of parenting, the foibles of the cable industry, and the idiosyncracies of colleagues and characters - they were all tempered by his inherent warmth, his intense affection and love for you and his children, and his razor-sharp wit. He was a renaissance man; one for the ages, and it has been a great privilege and pleasure to calll him my friend. Much love and deepest condolences to a fantastic family for a tragic loss.

Stephen Cunningham
Stephen Cunningham
October 2, 2017

I send all my love to you and your family. I remember Michael as such a vibrant, positive spirit. I know how much he will be missed by the whole LWT community, past and present

October 2, 2017
Laurel, I'm so sorry. I remember Michael with great warmth, and of course celebrate his commitment to Long Wharf.

October 2, 2017
mes très chers amis je viens vous présenter mes sincères condoléances et mes pensées affectueuses.
j'ai connu Mike enfant et adolescent et j'étais aux USA quand il faisait ses expériences sur l'holographie.
je ne garde que de très bons souvenirs de lui et de sa famille.
Je vous embrasse tous et particulièrement Jim. Vous faites partie de ma famille de cur. Je prie pour Mike, sa femme et ses enfants. Zdena
October 2, 2017
Michael, has it really been 54 years since you convinced the Woodbridge fire department to pay an emergency visit to our fourth grade class with Mrs. Hubble at Beecher School? You were a great guy. You are missed.
Mike Lerner
October 1, 2017
My deep appreciation for Michael's life, his accomplishments, generosity, intellectual curiosity and confidence, belief and support for our research and work. He will be mightily missed. Jerry Pier and Susan Bennett
Jerry Pier
October 1, 2017
Thank you Michael for helping us follow our dreams. We will miss you every day.
Deb Ramsdell and Hal Landy
Deborah Ramsdell
October 1, 2017
Sending love and prayers to Michael's wonderful family and friends that they may find peace during this devastating time.
Shannon Hughes
October 1, 2017
I regret that I never had the occasion to meet Michael, but as a scientist I greatly appreciated his support for biomedical research and development. May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Mike Ultee
October 1, 2017
Our deepest condolences to the Vlock and Pritzker families and to all of his great friends for the loss of Michael. How sad it is that we often find out how amazingly accomplished a person was only thru their passing. What a loss to family, friends and country.

The Hentschel and Prete Families
Peter Hentschel
October 1, 2017
To a man whose life work clearly inspired the noblest good, working tirelessly to create a better world worthy of this generation and the next.
Keely Badger
October 1, 2017
Mr. Vlock was one of the kindest, most thoughtful men my family and I have ever encountered. Rest in peace, Michael Vlock.
Ralph Torre
October 1, 2017
Thoughts and prayers for you and your family and deepest sympathy for your loss.
Hart Caparulo
September 30, 2017
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