On May 27, 2020, Rev. Thomas Edward “Thom” Prosser, of Emlenton, a well-known, highly respected pastor, community leader and former school board president, entered The Church Eternal.
No matter where you went, someone would always recognize him.
Thomas was born on June 18, 1930. He was the son of the late Edward and Elizabeth Erath Prosser of Patterson Heights, PA. He attended Beaver Falls High School. Upon graduation, he attended Westminster College where he received a BA degree. He was also a graduate of the Pittsburgh Xenia Theological Seminary completing a Master of Divinity. His education also included a Master of Education at Toledo University in Toledo, OH. He did student ministry work in Delhi, NY, and Bergholz, OH.
At a YWCA dance, he met an angel, Doris Jean Harkins, who became his wife of 65 years. Their first date consisted of a trip to Westminster College for a football game. The newlyweds moved to Cambridge, NY where he served his first church assignment at the Presbyterian Church. They next moved to Farrell, PA and were soon joined by three adorable children: Elizabeth Ann, David Thomas, and Timothy Earl. From Farrell, they relocated to Toledo, OH at the Rosewood Presbyterian Church. When a highway was planned to demolish the church, Rev. Prosser helped build a new church called Fairgreen in Sylvania, OH. His next calling was to Westminster Highlands as the Executive Director. At first, he preached at church in all four of the Presbyterys who owned the camp but then settled on Edenburg Church in Knox, PA. He served that church for 25 years before retiring. That did not stop his desire to spread the Word, preaching in New Bethlehem, PA, Okeechobee, FL, Clintonville, PA, and East Unity, PA. In his spare time, he served on the A-C Valley School Board for 27 years, was a Worthy Patron for many Eastern Star Chapters, and Masonic Temple 32 Degree and the Consistory Valley of New Castle. He organized food ministries to help the poor in Knox, PA, and Okeechobee, FL. The Kiwanis were grateful for his many hours spent as secretary and assisting with fundraisers. Just as he unlocked hearts, his hobby as a locksmith allowed him to help others by unlocking cars and houses. He spent many hours at the Scrubgrass Grange helping others make apple butter. Summers were spent at Canadohta Lake in “Daddy’s House”, a cottage that he built on “a wing and a prayer” with help from friends. Winters after retirement included many card games and pancake breakfasts at Ancient Oaks Campground in Okeechobee. After leaving Westminster Highlands, he lived and gardened at Windy Hill Farm in Scrubgrass Township until he moved to Orchard Manor in Grove City, Pa in December of 2019. Many deer and turkeys are grateful to the apple trees he planted in his garden.
Rev. Prosser officiated many baptisms, including those of his grandchildren. Thom is survived by his grandchildren, Christopher Prosser and his friend, Laura Hensley, Katy Best and her husband Brian, Thomas Pansino and his wife, Beth, and Timothy Pansino. Also mourning his passing are Robyn Prosser, wife of David Prosser and Dr. Terrence Pansino, husband of Dr. Elizabeth Prosser.
His favorite scripture passage was Psalm 23, and his favorite hymn was “Trust and Obey”. He taught many life lessons including how to rake gravel, fix a toilet, hammer a nail, and row a boat, but most important was that of Micah 6:8, “. . . To do Justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”
His life inspired many others to ministry in Christ. Help us celebrate a great Christian man as he embarks on the journey of the Greatest Ministry.
Friends will be received at the Hile Funeral Home Inc., 1204 Kerr Avenue, Emlenton, from Noon – 3 and 5 – 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30, 2020. A funeral service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday at Edenburg Presbyterian Church, Knox, PA, with visitation at the church one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Emlenton Cemetery.
The family requests memorial donations be made to Edenburg Presbyterian Church, 405 Main St., Knox, PA 16232 where he is Pastor Emeritus.
Condolences may be sent by visiting www.hilefh.com.