James Argyle Proper, 56, of Morrisville Vt., passed away peacefully, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, with his friends by his side, at Birchwood Terrace Healthcare in Burlington, Vt., after a short, courageous battle with cancer.
James was born in Keene, N.H., on March 14, 1954. He was the oldest of the three sons of Richard and Roberta (Robinson) Proper. James attended the one-room school house in Elmore, Vt.; he graduated from People’s Academy in 1974 in Morrisville and received a bachelor of arts degree from Johnson State College in 1982.
James was an exceptionally hard worker. He had worked for different employers through the years. At the time of his death, James had been employed 19 years at McCarthy’s Restaurant in Stowe, Vt. The owner, Diane, treated James like family and he felt the same way about Diane and Dan. Most people in the Stowe/Morrisville area knew James for his love of the Ford Falcon, which he drove, with pride, many times in the Stowe Antique Car Parade. His Falcons were his pride and joy. James loved history. His greatest interest was JFK, but he did not limit his knowledge there. James read, constantly, about a variety of historical persons and events. His recall of dates and events was impressive. James was always thinking of others; he always saved newspaper articles, cartoons, or any printed information for friends that he knew would enjoy or find interesting. James was a great friend to those who were fortunate enough to be touched by this gentle, kind, honest, caring man.
James also developed an appreciation for the Bible and benefited from the words he read there. One scripture that James would quote often during his difficult illness was Ecclesiastes 9:11, which states, “Because time and unforeseen occurrence befall them all.” James was comforted to know that he did nothing to deserve his illness.
James Proper is survived by his parents, Richard and Roberta Proper of Whitehall; his youngest brother, Kenneth Rupert Proper, and an uncle, David Proper, both of Keene N.H. There are also many friends who loved James and will miss him.
James was predeceased by a younger brother, Richard Keith Proper, in 1978.
James last unselfish act was to donate his body to the University of Vermont Medical School. His hope was that the medical field would learn from his illness and to use that information to help others.
The Ready Funeral Home of Burlington, Vt., helped with James’ final arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following places: Vermont Respite House Inc., 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston, Vt. 05495; Vermont Cancer Center-UVM College of Medicine Development Office, The Courtyard at Given – 1 South, 89 Beaumont Ave., Burlington Vt. 05405 (a form is online at http://www.vermontcancer.org)
Thank you to all the friends that came to visit James; the staff at Birchwood Terrace and the doctors, staff and nurses at FAHC Oncology Department in Burlington.
A memorial service, celebrating James’ life, will be held at McCarthy’s Restaurant, 454 Mountain Road, Stowe, Vt., on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m.
“Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a milkshake in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”