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Martha M. Proper

Posted By Hans Funeral Home On May 4, 2021 @ 2:08 pm In Obituary | 9 Comments


PRINCETOWN – Martha M. Proper passed away on April 16, 2021 at the age of 92.  Martha was born in Norwood, Pennsylvania on October 4, 1928 to the late Robert and Martha Cambage.  Soon after her father finished his job training, they moved to Schenectady County where Martha’s sister and brother were born and where Martha lived the rest of her life. Martha attended a little two-room school house on Pangburn Road close to where her parents settled to raise their family.  She remembers the boys in school having to collect drinking water in pails from the nearby spring and how she enjoyed helping her teacher assist with teaching her classmates. It was apparent at a very young age that Martha developed a love for learning. From there she attended Draper School as a freshman. She often talked about how she met Gene, her future husband the first day of school. She graduated from Draper School in 1945 and soon started her first job at GE as an engineering assistant in the Steam Turbine Department. On June 27, 1948 Martha married her school sweet heart Walter Eugene Proper better known to all as Gene. They built their house on Pangburn Road a few hundred feet from the two room school house and next door to her parents. Martha stopped working in 1951 to begin raising her two sons Robert Eugene and John Raymond. In 1962 she had the opportunity to become a Schenectady County Representative for the NYS Citizens Information Service Executive Office. She felt honored to have this position as it afforded her the opportunity to do some important work with the current governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. In 1968 she started volunteering as the assistant director of the Schenectady County Narcotic Guidance Council and Drug Information Center and in 1972 was promoted to the position of director. She continued working there as a volunteer until 1977. Finally, in 1978 after working full time as a volunteer for 9 years Martha was offered a paid position as director of the Schenectady County Drug Abuse Prevention Council where she worked until she retired in 1990. Martha was very dedicated to her work and she was committed to the cause of helping families win the fight against drug addiction and to make Schenectady a better place for families to live, work and raise their children.

She was destined to work in the human service field where she could help others. It was her joy and passion in life to work with people. In addition to her full-time job she was involved in her sons’ school and in her hometown of Princetown where she supported the town board members in any way she could. People who knew Martha knew her as someone who cared deeply about family, friends and neighbors and she believed in the importance of being a good neighbor.  After retirement Martha and Gene enjoyed 18 years of traveling in their motorhome to Florida every winter and to other areas of the country during the summer months. Traveling gave them the opportunity to have lots of fun, meet wonderful people and establish lasting friendships along the way.

Martha is predeceased by her parents and her brother Robert Cambage.  She is survived by her loving and devoted husband Walter E. Proper of Princetown, her son Robert E. Proper (Linda) of Arizona,  John R. Proper (Victoria) of Princetown,  her sister Nancy Brozyna of Florida, sister-in-law Donna Salerno of Scotia, three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, four step great grandchildren, one niece, two nephews and one grandniece.

The Proper family would like to thank all the staff at Wilkinson RHCF and at the Amsterdam Community Hospice for their love and care.

Memorial donations may be made in Martha’s memory to the Schenectady City Mission.  Burial will be held privately.  To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com .

Condolences for the family of “Martha M. Proper”

Condolence from Karen and Roger Elem on May 4th, 2021 7:11 pm

It was an honor to know Martha. She was always so interesting to talk to on a range of subjects. It was clear how much she loved her family. Sending our love and sympathy to Gene, John, Vicki and the rest of the family. Martha will be remembered with fond thoughts.

Condolence from Rose Bosi on May 5th, 2021 6:02 am

Inspiring life John’s mom lived. Godspeed

Condolence from The Colarusso Family on May 5th, 2021 9:00 am

Death leaves are heartache no one can heal, Love leaves a memory no one can steal…..
Martha is basking in the beauty of the Lord now…..God Bless her Family until they meet her again.
With Sincere Sympathy & Faithful Friendship & Love, Tony, Janice & Family

Condolence from Kurt Schneible on May 7th, 2021 4:28 am

Mrs Proper was our long time neighbor and I later worked with her at Schenectady County. she was a very nice person and a wonderful neighbor. our condolences to her family.

Condolence from JUDITH LONGO on May 7th, 2021 7:04 am

Sincere condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Martha Proper.. especially to John and Vicki with deepest sympathy. Memories will live in everyone’s hearts, forever. God bless.

Condolence from Richard and Gloria Jasinski on May 7th, 2021 8:03 am

John we didn’t know your Mom but from what we read she sounded like a wonderful lady. Our sincere sympathy to you and your family.

Condolence from John J Warner on May 8th, 2021 10:34 am

I was privileged to know Martha and to work with her on the committee that created the Schenectady County Employee Assistance Program. She was committed to her work and even came to my aid when I mismanaged my grief following my mother’s death and mixed a prescription drug and alcohol with terrible consequences. She came to my house in the middle of the night and greatly aided my wife and I through the most difficult night of our lives. I am so appreciative of her help and will always remember her. My wife and I will make a contribution in her name as requested. Our condolences to her family.

Condolence from MaryJane Blessing on May 8th, 2021 2:04 pm

So sorry to hear about Skeetzie, Mar v liked seeing her at the town meetings to talk about the years gone by. Our. Prayers go out to the family. Marvin and Mary Jane Blessing

Condolence from Mark R. Luce on May 9th, 2021 12:52 pm

Dear John,
Please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of your mom.
I remember her well from all the times we used to have band rehearsals at your parents house in your upstairs bedroom on Pangburn Road from around ’66 through ’71; I remember both of your parents were always very nice and very warm and receptive when we arrived for those band rehearsals, and they were very encouraging and never interrupted us to say that it was too loud or criticize the styles of music we were making which was always the latest and more challenging songs during those years we were in Junior High and High School together at Schalmont. I seem to remember milk and home-baked cookies being brought up stairs about halfway through a rehearsal – which I think was always a two-hour rehearsal on weeknights and maybe three or four-hour rehearsal on a Saturday; I remember working on Beatles, Cream, Led Zeppelin, and Grand Funk Railroad and several others throughout those years – which must have required a turning up of the volume of their TV during that rehearsal time. Fond memories!
Please extend my condolences and my greetings to your dad!

Kindest regards,
Mark R. Luce
Vienna, Austria

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