Michael Prohodsky of Emporia, Kansas, formerly of El Dorado, Kansas, died peacefully
on Sunday, June 25, 2017, in Emporia. He was 96. Born Aug. 8, 1920, in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Prohodsky was the son of Russian immigrants Nikolai and Olga (Nekrashevich) Prohodsky. He grew up on a dairy farm and graduated from Mansfield (Massachusetts) High School in 1938. He attended Northeastern University in Boston on an athletic scholarship, graduating 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, Prohodsky was inducted in 1987 into Northeastern’ s Varsity Club Hall of Fame for his track and cross country achievements. The biggest: In 1941 Prohodsky 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.
Prohodsky 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.
Prohodsky 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. Prohodsky 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, Kansas; son, John Prohodsky (Lynne Percevay) of Salem, Oregon; three grandchildren, Samuel Shepherd of Kansas City, Missouri, Sara (Nicholas) Tilton of Overland Park, Kansas, and Zachary Prohodsky of Vancouver, Washington; two great-granddaughters, Evelyn and Hannah Tilton; sister, Anna Prohodsky of Mansfield, Massachusetts; nephews, Steve Bond, Fred (Ann), Bill, and Phil (Barb) Collingwood and Jim Wallace; great nephews, Chris and Jason Bond, Andrew, Alex, and Sam Collingwood; 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; and three sisters, Nina Collingwood, Helen Prohodsky and Mary Casey.
His family will gather with friends for a visitation on Monday, July 10, 2017, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., with a memorial service following at 11:30 a.m., both at the First Presbyterian Church in El Dorado, with Dr. Michael Blaine officiating. Private burial at Sunset Lawns Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 400 W. Central, El Dorado, KS 67042; the Butler Community College Foundation’s Michael Prohodsky Track and Field Scholarship, 901 S. Haverhill Road, El Dorado, KS 67042; or the Holiday Resort Memorial Walkway, 2700 W. 30thAve., Emporia, KS 66801. Please sign his online guest book and leave a memory of Mike at www.carlsonkirbymorris.com.
Charitable donations may be made to:
First Presbyterian Church
400 W. Central, El Dorado KS 67042
Butler County Community College
901 S. Haverhill, El Doardo KS 67042
2700 W. 30th Ave., Emporia KS 66801