In memory of
THOMAS L. PROKOP
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In memory of
THOMAS L. PROKOP
PROKOP, Thomas L. Of San Diego, who grew up in Dorchester, died peacefully of natural causes on December 27. He was 71. Known to family and friends as Tommy, he ran a construction business and remodeled homes in California for many years. He had a wild and sometimes reckless sense of adventure, hang gliding off cliffs in North Carolina and scuba diving off the coast of Micronesia. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved nothing more than to drop a hook in the water off his boat and enjoy the sea air while waiting for the fish to bite. Tommy was born in Boston and raised in St. Mark's Parish in Dorchester. He attended the parish grammar school and graduated from English High School. In 1967, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served for three years, including two tours in Vietnam. The Navy, recognizing his skills as a mechanic, made him an Engineman on a riverboat with the River Assault Division 132, River Squadron 13, operating from a base camp in Dong Tam. He was awarded the Navy Achievement medal with Combat V, recognizing his participation in 150 combat patrols, and six times engaging with the enemy. During one incursion, when his boat was hiding in reeds, a Vietcong soldier swam to the side and attached a bomb to the boat, causing an explosion that killed another U.S. sailor. Tommy was injured in the blast and was awarded a purple heart. After the Navy, Tommy joined the construction trade, working on Cape Cod. But he soon headed to warmer climates. He stopped in North Carolina where he joined a group in the new sport of hang gliding. One of his proudest moments was a leap off Grandfather's Mountain, where he earned the Raven designation, for soaring off the mountain for an hour. He spent two years on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei, where he maintained the plant and generator that kept the island's hotel running. Living there also gave him the opportunity to pursue another hobby-scuba diving. In San Diego, where he lived most of his life, Tommy worked in home construction for Hurder Construction for many years and later started his own business, TL Prokop Construction. A skilled craftsman and remodeler, Tom enjoyed bantering with his customers. He was especially proud of a comment made by one of his clients who told him: "Your customers don't like you, they love you!" Tom met his future wife, Barbara Aste, at a wine-tasting event. They were married for 31 years. The pair loved hiking and camping from the back of Tom's minivan. For 11 years, they hosted a Thanksgiving dinner in San Felipe, on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. After he retired, Tom loved to go out on his boat and fish for mako shark and yellowfin tuna. He loved to cook, especially seafood, and also to bake his mother's highly prized datenut bread and recipes from her Polish cookbook. Tom took pleasure in the small things in life-spending time with Barbara, their friends, and their dog Sydney, fishing from his boat on a warm, sunny day, and marveling at the hummingbirds that fluttered around the feeder hanging outside his kitchen. "He was a talented guy, fun to be with, and he loved to play games," recalls Barbara. Besides his beloved wife Barbara, Tom's survivors include his twin sister Elaine Prokop, of Stratham, NH; his brother, Robert Prokop, of Merrimac, MA; his sister, Marian Prokop, and her husband, Robert Weisman, of Newton, MA; his sister-in-law, Ellen Prokop, and his nieces and nephew Kimberly Redman, Matthew Prokop, and Elizabeth Weisman. His parents, Alfred A. Prokop and Jane (Saniuk) Prokop, and his older brother, Alfred A. Prokop, Jr., died before him. He also leaves many more well-loved nieces, nephews, cousins, other family members, and friends. A Celebration of Tommy's Life is planned for this summer.
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opt312: Original
In memory of
THOMAS L. PROKOP
PROKOP, Thomas L. Of San Diego, who grew up in Dorchester, died peacefully of natural causes on December 27. He was 71. Known to family and friends as Tommy, he ran a construction business and remodeled homes in California for many years. He had a wild and sometimes reckless sense of adventure, hang gliding off cliffs in North Carolina and scuba diving off the coast of Micronesia. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved nothing more than to drop a hook in the water off his boat and enjoy the sea air while waiting for the fish to bite. Tommy was born in Boston and raised in St. Mark's Parish in Dorchester. He attended the parish grammar school and graduated from English High School. In 1967, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served for three years, including two tours in Vietnam. The Navy, recognizing his skills as a mechanic, made him an Engineman on a riverboat with the River Assault Division 132, River Squadron 13, operating from a base camp in Dong Tam. He was awarded the Navy Achievement medal with Combat V, recognizing his participation in 150 combat patrols, and six times engaging with the enemy. During one incursion, when his boat was hiding in reeds, a Vietcong soldier swam to the side and attached a bomb to the boat, causing an explosion that killed another U.S. sailor. Tommy was injured in the blast and was awarded a purple heart. After the Navy, Tommy joined the construction trade, working on Cape Cod. But he soon headed to warmer climates. He stopped in North Carolina where he joined a group in the new sport of hang gliding. One of his proudest moments was a leap off Grandfather's Mountain, where he earned the Raven designation, for soaring off the mountain for an hour. He spent two years on the Micronesian island of Pohnpei, where he maintained the plant and generator that kept the island's hotel running. Living there also gave him the opportunity to pursue another hobby-scuba diving. In San Diego, where he lived most of his life, Tommy worked in home construction for Hurder Construction for many years and later started his own business, TL Prokop Construction. A skilled craftsman and remodeler, Tom enjoyed bantering with his customers. He was especially proud of a comment made by one of his clients who told him: "Your customers don't like you, they love you!" Tom met his future wife, Barbara Aste, at a wine-tasting event. They were married for 31 years. The pair loved hiking and camping from the back of Tom's minivan. For 11 years, they hosted a Thanksgiving dinner in San Felipe, on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. After he retired, Tom loved to go out on his boat and fish for mako shark and yellowfin tuna. He loved to cook, especially seafood, and also to bake his mother's highly prized datenut bread and recipes from her Polish cookbook. Tom took pleasure in the small things in life-spending time with Barbara, their friends, and their dog Sydney, fishing from his boat on a warm, sunny day, and marveling at the hummingbirds that fluttered around the feeder hanging outside his kitchen. "He was a talented guy, fun to be with, and he loved to play games," recalls Barbara. Besides his beloved wife Barbara, Tom's survivors include his twin sister Elaine Prokop, of Stratham, NH; his brother, Robert Prokop, of Merrimac, MA; his sister, Marian Prokop, and her husband, Robert Weisman, of Newton, MA; his sister-in-law, Ellen Prokop, and his nieces and nephew Kimberly Redman, Matthew Prokop, and Elizabeth Weisman. His parents, Alfred A. Prokop and Jane (Saniuk) Prokop, and his older brother, Alfred A. Prokop, Jr., died before him. He also leaves many more well-loved nieces, nephews, cousins, other family members, and friends. A Celebration of Tommy's Life is planned for this summer.
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