Harold "Frosty" Proaps died Monday morning, leaving a city he loved to mourn his passing.
The 78-year-old Proaps served for 20 years as Lenoir City's treasurer/recorder - a job his friends and colleagues said he took very seriously.
"I've seen him spend hours trying to find a penny in the budget," said Councilman Gerald "Gene" Hamby. "He was the most honest man I've ever met in my life and a true public servant."
The former city treasurer served as a Marine in World War II and received the Purple Heart after being shot during action in the Pacific islands.
His daughter, Michelle Laughlin, recalled he was "a proud Marine."
Prior to becoming the city recorder/treasurer, he spent 30 years behind the counter at Moore Drug Company, which later became Atchley's Drug Store.
Proaps' successor, Debbie Cook, talked about her mentor as the flags at City Hall were lowered to half-staff.
Proaps hired Cook the first year he served in the office.
"He taught me how correct you have to be in taking care of the taxpayers' money," Cook said. "He helped build an extra classroom (for the schools) just by the way he saved and invested money.
"He was very intense in his job," Cook recalled. "He could be very particular in how he wanted things done."
Cook also remembered the lighter side of "Frosty."
"We were on a trip one time and he bought a soda and pack of crackers and said, 'Here's your meal allowance,' " Cook said.
Although "Frosty" may have at times showed a gruff exterior, he had a big heart.
"He was always giving when nobody knew it," Cook said. "Every year he would take a family in need and give them money."
Cook said Proaps worked with the American Legion to help with Christmas baskets.
He was a member of the Disabled American Veterans and a past member of the Lenoir City Civitan Club.
"I looked up to him and I'll miss him terribly," she added. "He loved his family, his job, his country, and God."
The family received friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Click Funeral Home in Lenoir City.
Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday in Click Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow with full military honors at Lakeview Cemetery.
Lenoir City Hall will close at 1:45 p.m. and remain closed for the remainder of the day to allow city employees to attend the service.
Graves, Brian. "Former Lenoir City Official Harold "Frosty" Proaps Dies." News-Herald [Lenoir City, Tennessee] 18 Dec. 2002, Volume 118, Number 101 ed., sec. A: 1-8.
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