Big Rapids â€“ Thomas L. Proefrock, 64, of Grant Township, passed away Thursday, December 4, 2008, at Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids.
He was born September 2, 1944, in Detroit, the son of Theodore and Edna (Knauf) Proefrock. As a child, Tom moved with his family to the Reed City area, and graduated from Leroy High School in 1962.
Following graduation, he joined the US Air Force, and served as an airplane mechanic stationed in Dover, Delaware until his honorable discharge in 1966.
On April 14, 1973, Tom married Linda Harrison of Paris, and they have made their home in Grant Township. For nearly 20 years, they owned and operated Gone to the Birds Farm, specializing in raising Bobwhite Quail. Tom drove bus for MOISD, and also drove athletic teams for Ferris State University. He also drove truck for several local companies.
Tom was a member of St. Paulâ€™s Lutheran Church in Reed City, where he was confirmed. He enjoyed his AA Fellowship, was active with Therapy Dogs International with his Golden Retrievers KDB and Molly, and was formerly Scoutmaster of Reed City Area Troop #70. He also actively participated in the LIFT Program, reading to children at G. T. Norman Elementary School in Reed City. Tom was â€œDad firstâ€, and looked forward to the annual trips to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota with his family. He loved shooting sports, and built his own skeet and trap range on the family farm in Ashton.
Surviving are his wife Linda; 5 children; Melissa (James) Barns of Ft. Leonard Wood, MO, Jamie Proefrock, Jeff (Jeanne) Proefrock of Muskegon, Jason (Debra) Proefrock of Hersey, and Josh Proefrock and his fiancÃ© Julie Feutz of Paris; his mother-in-law Audrey Harrison of Paris; and his half brother Philip Parker of Battle Creek.
Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m., Monday, December 8, 2008, at St. Paulâ€™s Lutheran Church in Reed City, with Rev. Dawn Pooley officiating. Burial will follow in the Ashton Cemetery. Tomâ€™s family will greet friends at the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids on Sunday, December 7, 2008 from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m., and after 10:00 a.m. on Monday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made for the Reed City Food Pantry or the L.I.F.T. Reading Program at G.T. Norman Elementary School, with envelopes available at the funeral home.