Copake, NY – Paul J. Proper Sr., 88, “The People’s Sheriff” of Columbia County passed away at home on Thursday, December 20, 2018

He was born on October 20, 1930, in Egremont, MA the son of Myron and Olia (Pectal) Proper.

Paul served as a TSgt of the United States Air Force.  He was on the B26 Bomber Squadron receiving the Bronze Star Medal during the Korean War.

Sheriff Paul J Proper Sr. started his career in July of 1961 working for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy.  He became the first investigator of the department and later became undersheriff in 1972.  He was elected Sheriff in 1977 where he served until 1989.  Proper retired but briefly returned to the job in 2001 on an appointed, interim basis.  He was President of the New York State Sheriff’s Association and life member.  He was honored as “Man of the Year” at Gallagher’s Restaurant in New York City.  He was integral in the building of the Columbia County Public Safety Facility in Hudson, New York which was later named in his honor.

He is a life member of the Clausson Raught Community Rescue Squad, life member of the Copake Fire Company with over 50 years of service.  He held the office of third assistant chief and was a Fire Commissioner.  Paul was a member of the Hillsdale 612 Free and Accepted Masons of New York, member of the Cadby Shutts VFW Post 7552 of Hillsdale, New York; he was a member of the Columbia County Korean War Veterans Associations Inc., and member of the West Copake Reformed Church.

Paul was a director on the Columbia County Agricultural Society Inc. Fair Board in Chatham, New York for over 30 years.

A graduate of Roeliff Jansen Central School in 1949.

On April 13, 1952 at the First United Presbyterian Church, Ancramdale, NY, he married Marjorie E. (Decker) Proper.  She survives him at home.

In addition to his loving wife Marge of sixty six years, survivors include a son, Paul J. Proper Jr (Theresa); a daughter, Rosemarie (Jerome) McEnroe; a son, David (Patricia) Proper and Jeffrey (Christa) Proper; eight grandchildren; Justin, Jeremy, Klynt, Nicholas, Dylan, Megan, Bryan and Evan; nine great-grandchildren; Kailey, Aubrey, Tristan, Abby, Keegan, Brady, Noah, Turner and Lydia.

He was predeceased by a sister Ruth Bailey and a brother Otis Proper.

Calling hours are on Thursday, January 3, 2019, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm at  8063 State Route 22, Copake, New York 12516.

Funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, January 4, 2019, from the West Copake Reformed Church, 2688 County Route 7, Copake, New York 12516.

Interment will follow in the Evergreen Cemetery with Military Honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are requested to the West Copake Reformed Church, 2688 County Route 7, Copake, New York.