Mr. Ronald Frank Prokop, age 86 of Gaskin passed away at the family farm in the early morning hours of Sunday, December 27, 2020 with his wife by his side. He was born September 6, 1934 in Elgin, Illinois the son of Frank and Gladys Schzottman Prokop. Ron's grandparents had a dairy farm and Ron spent alot of time on the farm with the sheep and the cows and from an early age developed a love for the outdoors and farming. By the same token, Ron's dad was the first volunteer fire chief so the combination of his love for farming and his exposure to fire departments forged a path that Ron followed the rest of his life. After graduation from high school and after fulfilling his military obligations with a two year stint with the United States Navy he attended fire school. He trained with the Chicago Fire Department and back-in-the-day rode the tail-guard, "an old school tactic whereas a fireman would stand or sit on the back of the truck and had their own steering wheel to help maneuver the truck around corners or in tight spots". Most modern day firefighters have only seen the maneuver in old movies. Later when Ron moved to Fort Lauderdale he continued working with fire departments and became the first city fire chief for the City of Alachua later joining the Alachua County fire department where he retired in January of 1998 as District Fire Chief. The year before retirement Ron and Rosemary had began thinking about moving to Northwest Florida or South Alabama. After searching Alabama, and Bonifay they discovered an existing, operational farm in the Gaskin area that had just come up for sale. It would need work, some upgrading, some fences mended but for Ron it was reminiscent of his early childhood on his grandparents dairy farm so the deal was sealed. It wasn't long, after setting up housekeeping in their new "forever" home that Ron became fire chief in Gaskin. The two influential paths of his childhood has successfully joined in Gaskin and Ron and Rosie enjoyed a full and successful retirement for two decades.
Among survivors are his wife Rosemary Register Prokop, his children, Jeff Prokop and wife Brenda, Christine DeBono and husband Stephen, Steven Prokop and Carl NesSmith and wife Shannon. His grandchildren, Brenden, Aydree, Ethan and Ty and his brother-in-law Buddy Register and Donna and his sister-in-law Susie McDuffie also survive.
Ron's wishes were to be cremated and for his ashes to be scattered on the hill top over looking his pastures and that is exactly what Rosie and the kids are going to do and friends and colleagues are invited to attend that informal affair Saturday, February 6, 2021 around 11:00 A.M. outdoors on the farm. Any who wish to share a memory, an interesting story about Ronald are encouraged to do so at that time. Friends and family may go on line to view obituaries, offer condolences and sign the guest register at jerryevansfuneralhome.com
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