96, RN helped start the first medical clinic in BV, Sunrise Manor
Mary Jane Ukele Propernick, 96, of Buena Vista, died peacefully June 25. At the time of her death, she was residing in Surprise, Arizona.
Mary, the daughter of Clarence and Vera Ukele, was born in Rifle Feb. 16, 1924. She grew up on her family’s farm in Silt with three brothers and five sisters.
Mary graduated from Silt High School in June, 1943. She then traveled by train to Halstead Kansas to attend nursing school. Mary graduated from Halstead Nursing School as a Registered Nurse in 1947.
Mary met her husband, Anthony (Tony) Propernick at the Glenwood Springs Hospital where he was a patient and she was working as a nurse. They married 2 years later on Oct. 3, 1494, and moved to Buena Vista a few years later.
Mary worked as a nurse during the 1950s. She was instrumental in organizing fundraisers to start the first medical clinic in Buena Vista. Mary, along with Dr. James Green, were the original employees of the Buena Vista Medical Clinic.
Mary jokingly said the first patient they had was a dog that had been hit by a car.
In 1959, Mary and Tony became managers of the Buena Vista Texaco, which they operated until their retirement in 1979. People who knew them might remember the boxes of red geraniums in front of the windows of the Texaco station.
They were also very instrumental in building Sunrise Manor in Buena Vista.
Mary was a devout wife, mother, and grandmother. She was always wiling to help out family, friends, and even strangers when the need arose. She was a member of Delphi Club and the VFW Women’s Auxiliary.
She enjoyed golfing, dancing, traveling, and day trips to Cripple Creek. Mary and Tony attended children’s and then grandchildren’s activities and sports and were big Bronco fans having season tickets for many years. She also enjoyed her flower and vegetable gardens and the color pink.
She looked forward to going to coffee and visiting with friends about “what’s happening” and how Buena Vista was constantly growing and changing.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Nancy Miles (Ron), son Robert Propernick; grandchildren Christopher Miles (Robin), Kari Cox (Paul), Sheena Lane (Jim), and Lukas Propernick; great grandchildren Lyndsey and Aleah Miles, Lillyanna Propernick, Cooper and Andrew Cox, Grady and Colton Lane; along with many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Tony, her daughter in law Robin Propernick, her parents, her brothers, Mark Ukele, John Ukele, Arthur Ukele, and her sisters Effie Ukele, Ruth Pittenger, Catherine Williams, Della Griffin, and Anna Lloyd.
Due to the current pandemic situation, a private family service will be held.