Gordon Prochnow ’48

Gordon ProchnowGordon Russell Prochnow, Sr. age 85, of Freehold Township passed peacefully in his sleep at home on January 4, 2016.

Born in Boston, MA and raised in East Hampton, MA he attended Williston Academy and became a volunteer firefighter at age 14. After moving to New Jersey in 1967, he was active in the local community serving the Freehold Township Independent Fire Company No. 1 for almost 50 years as a member, serving as Chief in 1980, Fire Commissioner District No. 1 and Fire Bureau member. He was an instructor at the Monmouth County Fire Academy assisting many volunteers start their careers with proper training and always a good story to tell.

A Life Scout, he served the Battleground District, Monmouth Council of Boy Scouts in many capacities earning his Wood Badge and Silver Beaver Award. For 45 years he worked the Klondike Derby where Scouts will fondly recall him as the Mayor of Hooper Bay rescue station. For his longevity of service, an award was established in his name with the Prochnow family being the first recipients in 2015. His smile lit up the trading post at Quail Hill, he raised funds, made merit badges fun and was a Troop 155 supporter.

Gordon was an Olive Branch Lodge No. 16 F. &A.M. member from Freehold, raised more than 40 years ago and is a Distinguished White Apron Brother, Scottish Right member, and a Shriner who served with the Provost Guard out of Crescent Temple, Trenton. He also is a 25 year plus member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Molly Pitcher Chapter No. 198. Following his college graduation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where Gordon was initiated in to the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, he began his career as a Civil Engineer.

He married Dorothy Bleibtrey in 1954 and immediately was called to serve the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956. Soon after the family quickly grew and Gordon was the proud father of three sons and two daughters. Born and raised an Episcopalian, he was a faithful member of the St. Peter’s Church family in Freehold. He took pride mentoring many and was passionate about serving others with dignity and respect. “Gordy”, well done!

He was predeceased by his parents Eric M Prochnow, Sr. and Ida Mae Prochnow, a brother Eric M. Prochnow, Jr., a son, Scott Martin Prochnow, and Edythe Weston, his daughter-in-law. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy E. Prochnow, eldest son, Gordon Russell Prochnow, Jr., and his wife Patricia, and son Wayne H. Prochnow and his wife Janine; daughters, Susan Jane Story and her husband Larry, and Diane Lynn Prochnow; grandchildren Brian Joseph Prochnow and his wife Michelle, Gordon Russell Prochnow, III and companion Paul Zeger, Brittany Marie Giordano and husband Rob Giordano, Andrew William Prochnow, and Dwayne Story; nephew Richard; and nieces, Phyllis and Harriett.

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