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Lawrence O. Proper

January 27, 1957 ~ November 29, 2021 (age 64)

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Lawrence O. Proper, age 64 of Copake, New York was born to the late Otis W. Proper and Lorraine (Hume) Proper on January 27, 1957 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Larry is survived by his wife of 44 years, Teri S (Miller) Proper;his three sons, Todd L. Proper of Copake, NY, Ryan B. Proper and wife Kristina of Claverack, NY, Andrew M. Proper and wife Cora of Gales Ferry, CT. and his daughter, Bridgette S. L. Gregory and her husband Michael of Schenectady, NY; three grandchildren, Ryan Alexander Proper, Wesley Lawrence Proper, and Jane Elizabeth Proper; and a sister JoAnn Proper of Durham NC. 

After graduation from high school, Larry married his high school sweetheart, Teri S. Miller, on April 2, 1977 and raised their four children in the Town of Copake. 

Larry had a passion for cooking, grilling, and smoking meats on his homemade smoker in the backyard.  He also worked withmany organizations on fundraising events over the past 40+years. One of his favorite fundraisers was the Taconic Hills Dollars for Scholars Burger/Laverack Annual Alumni Soccer Game & BBQ, which his whole family helped out with, and all of his children played in.

Larry was employed as a bartender for Morandi’s Restaurant and Bar in Hillsdale until September, 1977 when he became a New York State Licensed Insurance Agent for Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company where he worked until January, 1979.

Shortly after leaving his position with Mutual of Omaha, he began his career with the Town of Copake Highway Department as a Machine/Equipment Operator. Larry worked for the Copake Highway Department for over 30 years, spent two and half years as Deputy Highway Superintendent and eleven and half years as Highway Superintendent. He also served as Member and Treasurer of the Columbia County Association of Town Superintendents.

Following his 30 years of employment with the Copake Highway Department, Larry accepted the position of Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds for the Taconic Hills Central School District where he worked from March 2, 2008 to January 27, 2012

In addition to his full-time employment with the Copake Highway Department, Larry was elected to the Office of Copake Town Clerk in 1985 and held the position from January 1, 1986 until December 31, 1998, at which time he became Deputy Town Clerk/Tax Collector. In November 2011, when he was re-elected to the position of Town Clerk/Tax Collector and served two terms from 2012 through 2020 when he stepped down and again assumed the role as Deputy to support the incoming Town Clerk/Tax Collector.

At the age of sixteen, Larry began his community volunteer efforts when he joined the Craryville Fire Department in 1973,and worked his way up to the rank of First Lieutenant during his seven years of service. He joined the Community Rescue Squad at the age of 18 in 1975 and held the offices of Treasurer, First Lieutenant, Explorer Post 1160 Advisor, and Member of the Board of Directors.

Larry joined the Copake Volunteer Fire Department at the age of 23 and held the offices of Vice President, Treasurer, Member of the Five Alarm Caterers, Member of Board of Directors, and Lifetime Member.  In recognition of his years of service to the Department, Larry will be buried in his Fireman’s uniform and will be honored with a Fireman’s Funeral Ceremony.

In 1983, he became Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Fire Commissioners and later held the position of Fire Commissioner and Deputy Treasurer.

Larry was a frequent supporter of community youth sports programs.  He organized the food concessions stand for the Roe Jan Youth Soccer Program for three years.  

He served as Coach of the Copake Little League team for 10 years, and also held the administrative positions of Treasurer and Member of the Board of Directors of the Roe Jan Little League Association.

Larry was a member of the Copake Parks and Recreation Commission and Park Superintendent of the Copake Memorial Park.  In 2010, the Town of Copake named the new park building the Lawrence O. Proper Community Park Building in honor of his years of dedicated service to the Park. In addition to his other municipal duties, he served as Person in Charge of Town of Copake Williams Cemetery.

An avid hunter, Larry was a 3rd generation member of Deer Run Lodge, Inc., following his father, Otis, and his grandfather, Myron, who were both founding members.

Family and friends are invited to call on Sunday, December 5, 2021 from 1:00 pm to 6:00pm at Peck & Peck Funeral Home, 8063 Route 22, Copake.  Funeral Services will be held on Monday at the funeral home beginning at 11:00am.  Interment will follow in Copake Cemetery. Food donations for the gathering following the funeral can be dropped off at the Copake Fire Department building prior to the memorial service on Monday, December 6th.

A memorial scholarship fund is being established to honor Larry’s many years of service to the local community.  Please make checks payable to Community Scholarship Fund (or CSF) and send to the following address: Attn: CSF, Teri Proper, 447 County Route 7A, Copake, NY 12

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lawrence O. Proper, please visit our floral store.


December 5, 2021

1:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Peck and Peck Funeral Homes, Inc.
8063 Route 22
Copake, NY 12516

Funeral Service
December 6, 2021

11:00 AM
Peck and Peck Funeral Homes, Inc.
8063 Route 22
Copake, NY 12516

December 6, 2021

12:00 PM
Copake Cemetery
Church St.
Copake, NY 12516

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