Raymond Eugene (Gene) Propst, 77, of Germanton, N.C., passed away of natural causes on Sept. 26.
He is survived by two daughters, Samantha Louise Propst and Molly Propst Vitelli, son-in-law Michael Christopher Vitelli, two grand dogs, Bella and Tucker, and many beloved cats, raccoons and possums. Gene was a steward of all animals.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Harriet Setzer Propst and his parents, Herman and Pearl Propst.
Gene was a loving husband, father and father-in-law. He lived a long and full life, starting from humble beginnings in Valdese, N.C. He was an eagle scout, woodworker and two-sport athlete at Valdese High School, playing both varsity football and track. He was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps where he earned the designation expert marksman. He served one tour of duty in Vietnam. He attended Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., where he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in industrial arts.
After graduating from college, Gene found his niche in sales, having an extremely successful career with Baxter Healthcare for more than three decades. He received multiple accolades, including being named salesman-of-the-year seven times. He was as comfortable on a stage giving a presentation to 300 people as he was taking a client to a hole-in-the-wall hotdog stand or a BBQ joint.
Gene was a prolific storyteller and had quite the repertoire of one-liners that those close to him referred to as "Geneisms."
Gene was well traveled, anywhere from Africa to Greece to Monte Carlo, but his favorite place to visit was Lake Lure in the mountains of Western North Carolina. His favorite TV show was Law & Order and he saw every episode. He marched to the beat of his own drum and was one-of-a-kind. He will be missed dearly by his family and friends, but his memory will live on.
The family will hold an intimate reception at the Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home, 3315 Silas Creek Parkway in Winston-Salem on Thursday, 5-7 p.m. A private family military service will be held on Friday at Salem Cemetery, where he will be buried. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to humanesolution.org, spay-neuter program.