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John Richard Proffitt Obituary

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John Richard Proffitt

Rockville, Maryland

September 12, 1930 - May 9, 2024

John Richard Proffitt Obituary

John Richard Proffitt


September 12, 1930 – May 9, 2024


John Richard Proffitt, 93, passed away on Thursday, May 9, 2024.


John was born on September 12, 1930 in Grand Junction, Colorado. He was the third of five children to Hillus David and Joy Elaine (Lindsay) Proffitt. He grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from Louisville Male High School in 1949.


After graduating from the University of Kentucky (B.A., 1953), John served as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer with the 39th Air Division and the Fourth Fighter Wing. He is holder of the Korean War, United Nations, and National Defense Service Medals. He was stationed in northern Japan and developed a lifelong love for Japanese art, food, and culture.


Upon returning home, John served as Assistant Dean of Men and Instructor in the Political Science Department at the University of Kentucky, while working toward his M.A. (1961) in Political Science. He continued his military service as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He spoke often, and fondly, of those years in Lexington.


In 1961, John moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Michigan. He met his future bride and became a loyal wolverine fan.


In 1965, John and his new wife, Claire Boyer Miller (div. 1992), moved to the Washington, DC area for him to pursue a career at the U.S. Department of Education. For over 16 years, John worked as a public servant in various capacities including as Director of the Division of Institutional and State Incentive Programs, overseeing a staff of 50 and a program budget of $40 million. In a March 15,1982 letter to John, U.S. Department of Education Secretary T.H. Bell formally congratulated John on his “exceptional performance as a leader of the Department of Education’s Eligibility and Evaluation Unit for over 12 years and for [his] many contributions to American higher education during [his] service in this Department.”


One of John’s passions was genealogy research, and he connected with Proffitts from all over the world. His “Ancestral Paternal Line” (January 1995) has been shared extensively with family and friends.


John was preceded in death by his parents, Hillus and Joy Proffitt, three brothers, Harry, David and James Proffitt, and a sister, Mary Joyce Johnson.


John is survived by his children, Cameron Proffitt (Gordon) Taylor and William Boyer Miller (Eileen) Proffitt, his seven adoring grandchildren (ranging in age from 15 to 21), and three nephews and a niece (all of whom reside in Kentucky). He was beloved as a father, grandfather, and uncle, and will be missed.


John will be laid to rest at Arch L. Heady at Resthaven Memorial Park, in Louisville, KY, alongside his parents and two of his siblings. A small family service will take place in Louisville this summer.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hebrew Home and Montgomery Hospice. Both took great care of John during his remaining months. The family expresses their appreciation for the amazing care and compassion displayed by all the caregivers and support staff, including chaplains and veterans’ services.


To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of John Richard Proffitt hosted by Robert A Pumphrey Funeral Homes.

John Richard Proffitt


September 12, 1930 – May 9, 2024


John Richard Proffitt, 93, passed away on Thursday, May 9, 2024.


John was born on September 12, 1930 in Grand Junction, Colorado. He was the third of five children to Hillus David and Joy Elaine (Lindsay) Proffitt. He grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from Louisville Male High School in 1949.


After graduating from the University of Kentucky (B.A., 1953), John served as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer with the 39th Air Division and the Fourth Fighter Wing. He is holder of the Korean War, United Nations, and National Defense Service Medals. He was stationed in northern Japan and developed a lifelong love for Japanese art, food, and culture.


Upon returning home, John served as Assistant Dean of Men and Instructor in the Political Science Department at the University of Kentucky, while working toward his M.A. (1961) in Political Science. He continued his military service as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He spoke often, and fondly, of those years in Lexington.


In 1961, John moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Michigan. He met his future bride and became a loyal wolverine fan.


In 1965, John and his new wife, Claire Boyer Miller (div. 1992), moved to the Washington, DC area for him to pursue a career at the U.S. Department of Education. For over 16 years, John worked as a public servant in various capacities including as Director of the Division of Institutional and State Incentive Programs, overseeing a staff of 50 and a program budget of $40 million. In a March 15,1982 letter to John, U.S. Department of Education Secretary T.H. Bell formally congratulated John on his “exceptional performance as a leader of the Department of Education’s Eligibility and Evaluation Unit for over 12 years and for [his] many contributions to American higher education during [his] service in this Department.”


One of John’s passions was genealogy research, and he connected with Proffitts from all over the world. His “Ancestral Paternal Line” (January 1995) has been shared extensively with family and friends.


John was preceded in death by his parents, Hillus and Joy Proffitt, three brothers, Harry, David and James Proffitt, and a sister, Mary Joyce Johnson.


John is survived by his children, Cameron Proffitt (Gordon) Taylor and William Boyer Miller (Eileen) Proffitt, his seven adoring grandchildren (ranging in age from 15 to 21), and three nephews and a niece (all of whom reside in Kentucky). He was beloved as a father, grandfather, and uncle, and will be missed.


John will be laid to rest at Arch L. Heady at Resthaven Memorial Park, in Louisville, KY, alongside his parents and two of his siblings. A small family service will take place in Louisville this summer.


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hebrew Home and Montgomery Hospice. Both took great care of John during his remaining months. The family expresses their appreciation for the amazing care and compassion displayed by all the caregivers and support staff, including chaplains and veterans’ services.


To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of John Richard Proffitt hosted by Robert A Pumphrey Funeral Homes.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of John Richard Proffitt.