Michael "Mike" Prohodsky, 96, died on June 25, 2017
Michael “Mike” Prohodsky, 96, of Emporia and formerly of El Dorado, died peacefully on Sunday, June 25, 2017, at Emporia.
Visitation with family will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m., with memorial service at 11:30 a.m., on Monday, July 10, 2017, both at the First Presbyterian Church with Dr. Michael Blaine officiating. A private family burial will be at Sunset Lawns Cemetery.
Michael was born on Aug. 8, 1920, the son Russian immigrants, Nikolai and Olga (Nekrashevich) Prohodsky in Chelsea, Mass. He grew up on a dairy farm and graduated from Mansfield High School in 1938. He attended Northeastern University in Boston on an athletic scholarship and graduated in 1942 with majors in economics and sociology and minors in physics and math. One of the East’s top collegiate distance runners of his era, Mike was inducted in 1987 into Northeastern’ s Varsity Club Hall of Fame for his track and cross country achievements. The biggest: In 1941 Mike won the IC4Anational championship in the indoor 2-mile run at Madison Square Garden. His time of 9:37.6 was unsurpassed for 11 years.
Mike served in World War II as a staff physicist in the U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Ordnance. While aboard a barge in the Panama Canal he survived being struck by lightning —later in life good-naturedly joking that this was why he was bald. He was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant J.G. in 1946. He married Betty Patricia Bond on March 27, 1945, at the First Presbyterian Church in El Dorado.
Mike was the first certified gemologist in Kansas and worked as a jeweler and watch repairman in Ellinwood, Kansas. He also was a salesman at Reed Chevrolet and John K. Fisher Buick GMC Cadillac, and owned and operated Bluestem Sales and Service in El Dorado.
Mike and Betty lived in El Dorado more than 40 years, where they loved entertaining family and friends. Mike was an avid gardener —growing gorgeous roses and prize-worthy vegetables —and in retirement enjoyed golfing, creating stained glass artwork and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
His loving family includes: his daughter, Mary Shepherd of Emporia; son, John Prohodsky (Lynne Percevay) of Salem, Ore.; sister, Anna Prohodsky of Mansfield, Mass.; three grandchildren, Samuel Shepherd of Kansas City, Mo., Sara (Nicholas) Tilton of Overland Park, and Zachary Prohodsky of Vancouver, Wash.; two great-granddaughters, Evelyn and Hannah Tilton; nephews, Steve Bond, Fred, Bill and Phil Collingwood and Jim Wallace; great nephews, Andrew, Alex, and Sam Collingwood, Chris and Jason Bond; great nieces, Kirsten Gardner, Lindsay, Derith and Debbie Collingwood.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Betty in 2008; a brother, Frank Prohodsky; sisters, Nina Collingwood, Helen Prohodsky and Mary Casey.
Memorial contributions in his name may be made to The First Presbyterian Church, 400 W. Central, El Dorado, Kansas 67042 or the Butler Community College Foundation’s Michael Prohodsky Track and Field Scholarship, 901 S. Haverhill Road, El Dorado, Kansas 67042 or the Holiday Resort Memorial Walkway, 2700 W. 30th Avenue, Emporia, Kansas 66801. Please sign his online guest book and leave a memory of Mike at www.carlsonkirbymorris.com.