Proft Robert Joseph Proft Born August 27, 1925 at home in Columbia Heights. Died April 10, 2003 at home in Columbia Heights from pancreatic cancer. Preceded in death by father, Herbert; mother, Nellie Helm and sister, Delores. Survived by his wife of 57 years, Marguerite; son, Pat & wife Karen; son, James; grandson, Pat Jr. & his wife Lisa; great-grandson, Matthew (4 years old); brother, Willie Proft & wife Mag; and many special nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. A life-long Columbia Heights resident, Robert, known to his friends as "Bob," was an avid golfer who relentlessly pursued the perfect golf stroke, some days more successfully than others (by his own admission). Bob owned Lakeland signs on Central Ave for over 30 years, and in retirement, established the "Senior Citizens Think Tank" in his garage, where friends gathered weekly to "muse on the meaning of life" over a fast game of poker and a few good cigars. Bob, who joined the Air Corps in the last stages of World War II, joined forces with friends, John Rak and Mitch DeMars, to complie and publish the first complete book of Congressional Medal of Honor Recipients, from the Indian Wars (including Buffalo Bill Cody) through the Gulf War. The book was the first complete reference guide to the details of each recipients' official citations, and is used by the Medal of Honor Society and other organizations for research on these American heroes. The book is included in the Library of Congress, and has been gratefully received by Presidents Clinton and G.W. Bush, former governor, Arne Carlson, Senator Norm Coleman, and Secretary of State Colin Powell, among others. Bob was also a frequent and passionate contributor to the Star Tribune Editorial page. He is held in the highest esteem by all who knew him. He will be missed. Mass of Christian Burial 10 am Monday, April 14 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 41st & Jackson St. NE, Columbia Heights (763-788-9062). Visitation 6-9 pm Sunday evening at the Miller Funeral Home, 6210 NE Hwy 65, Fridley, and in church Monday, one hour prior to service. Private interment, Hillside Cemetery, Mpls. Memorials preferred in lieu of flowers. Miller Funeral Home Fridley Chapel 763-571-1300

Published on April 11, 2003

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