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Proper remembered as a loyal, fair-minded public servant

Jan 04, 2019 2:30 pm
Diane Valden is reporting for The Columbia Paper friends and colleagues are remembering former Columbia County Sheriff Paul J. Proper, Sr. [PRO-perr], following his death at age 88, on Dec. 20. Valden describes him as a family man, a veteran, a fireman, a rescue squad member, a fair board director, sportsman, a truck driver, and a lawman. He is remembered by those who knew him as loyal, fair-minded, kind-hearted, a devoted public servant and ahead of his time. Proper was hired in July 1961, as the county Sheriff's Department's first full-time, countywide patrol deputy, In 1965, he became the department's first and only investigator, and in 1972 he was appointed to serve as undersheriff by then-Sheriff Frank Appleton. Proper was elected sheriff in November 1976, serving from January 1977 until late 1989, but was reappointed in 2001, for a brief second tenure. Proper was responsible for the hiring of current Sheriff David Barlett for his first job in law enforcement in 1984. Proper was a lifetime member of the Copake Fire Company for 69 years. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.
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