April 17, 1919 – June 24, 2019
Marilynn M. Propis, of Amherst, who was inducted as a Grand Lady of the Holy Sepulchre in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City for her service to the Catholic Church, died June 24 in Beechwood Homes, Getzville, where she had been a resident for 10 months. She was 100.
“The church was always my mom’s focus,” her daughter Marilynn Militello said. “She never missed Mass.”
Born in Buffalo, the former Marilynn Milligan and her younger brother, Lee, were raised by their grandmother for several years until their father remarried after their mother died in childbirth in 1924.
After graduating from East High School, she worked in a retail store, where a high school classmate, John P. Propis, caught her attention when he bought a chocolate heart for Valentine’s Day.
A standout Canisius College athlete, he became a Navy pilot and proposed to her on leave in 1942.
They were married later that year and she took her first ride on a train across the country to join him where he was stationed in San Diego, Calif.
After she was expecting her first child, she returned to Buffalo and they were reunited after the war. Living in Williamsville, they had seven children.
Longtime parishioners at Christ the King Church in Snyder, she and her husband were members of the Bishop’s Lay Advisory Council. She was active in the Seton Guild.
She and her husband, an award-winning general agent for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, maintained a vacation home in Bahia de Casares, Spain, for many years and another in Venice, Fla.
He died in 1999.
She enjoyed golf and bowling and was a member of the Buffalo Club, the Country Club of Buffalo and the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Florida.
In recent years, she was active socially with a circle of female friends.
Survivors include four sons, John P. Jr., James, Paul and Peter; two daughters, Julie Thompson and Marilynn Militello; 12 grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Christ the King Catholic Church, 30 Lamarck Drive, Snyder.