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It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Richard Ernest Proof, a devoted family man, Vietnam Veteran, and esteemed member of his community. Richard peacefully entered eternal rest on October 4, 2023 at the age of 83, leaving behind a legacy that will be cherished by all who knew him.
Richard was born on March 14, 1940, in Sayre, Pennsylvania, to his loving parents William and Ruth Proof. From an early age, Richard's strong work ethic and compassionate nature were evident, foreshadowing the exceptional life he would lead.
A true patriot, Richard proudly served his country in the military. During his time in Vietnam, he demonstrated bravery and selflessness, earning him the Bronze Star for his heroic service. His dedication to his fellow soldiers and his unwavering commitment to defending freedom were respected by all who served alongside him.
Beyond his military accomplishments, Richard was a man deeply rooted in family values. He met his beloved wife, Darlene, while both were serving in the military, and they began their lifelong journey together on April 15, 1964, in Rockford, Illinois. Richard and Darlene shared a love that was unbreakable, navigating life's joys and challenges hand in hand.
Together, Richard and Darlene raised their daughter, Lisa, instilling in her the same values of love, loyalty, and dedication that defined their own relationship. Richard was a doting grandfather and great-grandfather, cherishing every moment spent with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Whether he was teaching them or simply sharing stories and laughter, Richard's love for his family was boundless.
Richard was a devout Catholic and lived his life in accordance with his faith. He was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus, attaining the distinguished rank of the 4th degree. Additionally, he embraced his military fraternity, maintaining lifelong memberships with the VFW, American Legion, and the Military Officers Association. Richard's commitment to justice led him to serve as a criminal investigator for an impressive 26 years, earning the respect and admiration of his colleagues.
Outside of his professional pursuits, Richard was an active member of various associations, including the CID Agents' Association, Chiefs of Police Association, American Society of International Security, Special Agent Association of Canada, Rifle Association, and the United States Concealed Carry Association. These memberships signify his dedication to public safety and the protection of others.
Richard's departure leaves a void in the hearts of his family, friends, and community. However, the memories of his love, generosity, and unwavering integrity will continue to inspire and guide those who were fortunate enough to know him.
Beloved father of Lisa (David) Merglewski; proud grandfather of Bridgette Allen, Nicholas Cluckey, and David Merglewski Jr.; cherished great-grandfather of Michael Allen III, Hunter Cluckey, and Hailey-Cluckey, and dear brother of Lucille Donovan. Richard is also survived by many loving nieces, nephews, family, and numerous friends.
Richard is preceded in passing by his loving wife Darlene Proof, parents William and Ruth Proof, and sister Louise Arnold
Visitation to take place on Monday, October 9 from 2:00 PM – 8:00 PM with a rosary at 7:00 PM. Funeral Mass to take place on Tuesday, October 10 at St. Isidore Catholic Cemetery. Instate, or gathering time, 9:30 AM. Service at 10:00 AM. Richard will be laid to rest at Great Lakes National Cemetery.
Rest in peace, Richard Ernest Proof. Your legacy will live on forever.