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Tribute to Sheriff Paul Proper

March 7, 2019 05:15 am

To the editor:

Having just attended Sheriff Paul Proper Sr.’s wake and funeral with the overwhelming crowds who came to show their respect and love for him, our People’s Sheriff. I want to add my words as the local physician about Sheriff Proper who was my colleague and very good friend.

Whether I received a call from the coroner, or the ambulance crew (in times past, there were no EMTs aboard), Sheriff Proper was always there with me, helping in any situation. He served on the front lines as well as in the community with me on some difficult house calls. Once when i couldn’t convince a recalcitrant and very independent, somewhat stubborn elderly bachelor farmer to go to the hospital with me for ongoing care of 3rd degree burns of both hands, I called Sheriff Proper. In short order he convinced my patient to go to the hospital in the squad car.

Or, on another momentous occasion when I could not convince the parents of a three pound prematurely born, at home, infant that to survive, this infant needed to have care in an incubator in the Intensive Care Nursery in the hospital. Sheriff Proper came to my rescue and convinced them to let us call the ambulance for the trip to the hospital.

Sheriff Proper’s life was a life well-lived. He served his God, his country, his family and his community. As a patriot, he served in the Korean War; as a husband and father, he was always there to care for them, and was the greatest of role models for his children and grandchildren. In the community, he served with the Copake Fire Company as well as being our caring sheriff.

Sheriff Proper firmly believed in law and order, but he was always right there in any circumstance where we needed help — help that was kindly and loving as well as efficient.

Dr. Irma M. Waldo