Robert "Rod" W. Prosser of Chester, N.Y., passed away peacefully and in the company of others on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at his Glen Arden residence in Goshen, N.Y. He was 87.
Son of Arthur Ellis Prosser and Kathryn Ball Prosser, he was born in the old Goshen Hospital on Feb. 9, 1932.
Rod was first and foremost a family man, a caring father, grandfather, and uncle, a man of the community, a kind, generous, and decent man, and a man who lived a very active, interesting, and full life.
A graduate of Chester High School, he attended the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, N.Y. He thereafter enlisted in the U.S. Army, served mainland during the Korean War and later in the U.S. Army Reserve.
He spent many years owning and operating Orange Poultry Farm of Chester, a place the entire community frequented for their eggs and chickens, and brought their families. An avid pilot, he created a runway on the farm and established "Orange Poultry Farm Airport." What's more, Rod spent more than 50 years driving tractor-trailers, mostly for L.P. Transportation, but also for local black dirt businesses and courier services, especially in his later years, into his early 80s. Rod loved commercial driving and teaching others how to drive tractor-trailers, just like he enjoyed flying and sharing his passion for flying with others. A quiet, yet humorous and humble man, he was a natural leader, teacher and mentor. He always shared. And he was always on the move.
Rod lived an incredibly active life. He was an accomplished pilot and formed a group known as the "Chicken Coop Pilots." He was active with the "Grange" (a farmer's association), and, as a member of the Farm Bureau. took a trip to Russia in the early 1960s to share farming techniques. He was honored twice by the Goshen Fire Department, served as president of the Chester Alumni Association, served on the Chester Town Board, was a member of the Chester Historical Society, and was twice named a "Hospice Person of the Year" by Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties. Participating in the community, taking care of others, and supporting others were always passions for Rod, whether it was helping a struggling business owner, a family member, or someone he never met before their final days of life through his Hospice volunteer work.
Most of all, Rod was a family man. He is survived by his son Dave Prosser and his wife, Dawn, and grandchildren, Matt Prosser and his wife, Josie, Erin Lemke, her husband, Jared, and their daughter Julianne (Rod's great-grandchild); Thom Carney, Nikki Carney, and Maddie Prosser, who Rod adored and drove to school for many years. Rod is also survived by his son Steve Prosser, along with his wife, Dina, and their child, Dorothy, who Rod also adored and visited often in Seattle. Rod also had many nephews and nieces he loved and adored.
He loved humor, sharing stories, fellowship and camaraderie. He was curious, loved reading books and magazines regarding history, biographies, flight and travel, taking RV road trips and attending his granddaughters' sporting events, from New York to Seattle. He loved Broadway, music, dancing, his epic farm parties and travel. Rod played piano, acoustic guitar, steel guitar and accordion. He was a most interesting man. He is already missed, and we were so blessed to have him in our lives and now in our spirits and memories.
He was predeceased by his siblings, Richard Prosser, Arthur Prosser, Edith Prosser Palmer, and Anne Prosser Lavell.
Visitation was held Oct. 26 at Donovan Funeral Home in Goshen. A funeral service was held in the funeral home. Burial was at the Chester Cemetery, followed by a celebration of Rod's life at Delancey's in Goshen.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties.