Edwin John Prokop, 85, entered into eternal rest on Sunday, the 26th of June, 2011 with his family by his side. Born in Wilbraham, the 18th of October, 1925, he was the son of Stanley and Mary (Hycnar) Prokop who immigrated to the United States from Poland. He was raised in Indian Orchard and attended Springfield Trade School. He served as a Merchant Marine during WWII and was honorably discharged from the United States Coast Guard on the 27th of July, 1945. He met the love of his life, Helen Ann Skiba at the Butterfly Ballroom in Springfield, describing her as “the prettiest girl there.” They were married at Saint Stanislaus Church in Chicopee on the 24th of November, 1948 and were blessed with 62 wonderful years as husband and wife. They made their home in Ludlow and here together raised their family.
Edwin was a graduate of the Massachusetts State Police Academy and numerous schools of law enforcement. He joined the Ludlow Police Department in 1958 and after 32 dedicated years of service to the Town and its residents, he retired having achieved the rank of Lieutenant, second in command to the Chief. He was an honest and dedicated police officer and throughout his career he was always there for others. He helped countless people over the years who remember to this day what a kind and generous man he was and how their lives were changed and influenced by him. He received many awards and citations for his meritorious service to the Town. Most notably he was presented with the Man of the Year Award in 1985 by the Polish American Citizens Club of Ludlow “with affectionate good will for inspiring dedication to Ludlow youth and his fellows of this community.” He was instrumental in organizing the Policeman’s Ball each year and was proud to have been responsible for acquiring such entertainers as Guy Lombardo and the Glen Miller Band. He also organized a hugely successful fundraiser for Sunshine Village. He was a communicant of Christ the King Church in Ludlow and a member of the Men’s Guild Club there, as well as a member of the Polish Club of Ludlow, and the Polish American Veterans’ Club of Wilbraham. He was an avid tennis player and on several occasions was joined on the court by polka musician and friend Jimmy Sturr. He was also a dedicated fan of the Boston Red Sox. He enjoyed being outdoors, walking often with his daughter, Judith, playing ball with his sons, swimming with his grandchildren at Haviland Pond, water skiing, picking berries, or tending to his many tomato plants, the fruits of which he would share with everyone whom he encountered. He lived a long, successful, honorable life and over the years he made many, many friends. He was a kind, generous, gentle, and strong man who always had a story to tell or a memory to share. He will surely be missed by all who knew and loved him and by the many people whose lives he touched. Edwin was predeceased by his parents, a sister, Sophie Gubola, and by two of his beloved children, Ronald Edwin and Judith Ann who were surely by his side and there to greet him as he passed. He leaves to cherish his memory his wife Helen, a son Edwin J. “Jake” Prokop, Jr. and his wife Jeannine of Ludlow; his grandchildren to whom he was affectionately known as “Grampy,” Todd Ronald Prokop and his fiancee Megan Van der Kloot of Somerville, MA, Allison Beth Prokop of Ludlow, Jada Ann Devlin and her husband Sean of Woburn, MA, Jessica Jude Hebb and her husband Justin of Ludlow, and Mark Edwin Ottani of Ludlow; his great-grandchildren Teaghan Judith Devlin, Heath Warren Hebb, and soon to be Jude Vida Hebb, his sisters Jane Eurkus and Evelyn Heath, several nieces and nephews, extended family, and friends too numerous to mention. He will never be forgotten.
Independently Owned and Operated Kapinos-Mazur Funeral Home and Cremation With Confidence by Kapinos-Mazur “Care For The Community Since 1932”
Funeral services Celebrating his Life will be Thursday June 30, 2011 with family and friends gathering at 9 AM at the Kapinos-Mazur Funeral Home 64 Sewall St. Ludlow followed by a 10 AM Liturgy of Christian Burial in Christ the King Church 41 Warsaw Avenue Ludlow. Rites of Committal will follow in St. Aloysius Cemetery.