PROUDFOOT, Thomas L. age 89 of Dayton, passed away on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at Bethany Lutheran Village.
Tom was born March 5, 1928 in Philippi, WV, the youngest of eight children of Dellet and Grace Proudfoot. He completed the primary grades in six years in a one room schoolhouse and graduated from Philippi High School in 1944. Upon graduating from West Virginia Business College in Clarksburg in 1945, he served as “Right Hand” of former WV Governor Howard Gore. He enlisted in the US Navy in March 1946 and received an honorable discharge in January 1948. Tom was a first-generation college graduate, earning his B.S. in Business at West Virginia University in 1951 and his Master of Letters at the University of Pittsburgh in 1952.
He came to Dayton to work for the Rike-Kumler Company, where he met his wife Lee (Dodson) whom he married in 1955. He held various buying positions at Rike’s until he resigned in 1964 to open The Village Peddler, a ladies clothing store in Washington Township with the most capable and committed sales staff ever. In 1980 Tom and Lee moved part-time to Scottsdale, AZ and opened stores called Traditions Ltd. in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Sun City West, and Tucson. Falling in love with the desert, they closed the Peddler in 1985 to live year-round in Scottsdale. Tom sold Traditions in 1992 to give retirement a try in Durango, CO. Ever the energetic entrepreneur, he opened and ran Durango Traditions for a decade, culminating a successful 50-year career in retailing. Tom and Lee moved back to Dayton in 2005 to be with family.
Tom is survived by Lee, his loving wife of 62 years, daughter Jill Proudfoot, daughter and son-in-law Jayne and Kevin Klose, (all of Dayton) and granddaughters Nora Murphy (Washington DC) and Carly Klose (Asheville NC). He is also survived by one sister, Martha Wanstreet (Clarksburg WV), four nephews, and numerous grandnieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by some and survived by other lifelong friends in “The Gang.” A Celebration of Life will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, October 28. The family will receive friends in the West Parlor at noon. Private entombment.
As Tom fought a brave battle against Parkinson’s, he enjoyed the fitness center at Bethany. An inaugural member of the Rock Steady Boxing program there, he was featured in their annual report and video. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Tom’s name can be made to the Body and Soul Campaign for the enhancement of the Bethany Fitness Center, c/o Graceworks, 6430 Inner Mission Way, Dayton, OH 45459.