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Leta Marie (Grossnickle) Proos

Leta Marie (Grossnickle) Proos
  • February 5, 1943 - April 25, 2020
  • Richland, Michigan
  • Interlochen Center For The Arts
    4000 M-137
    Interlochen, MI 49643
  • First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo
    212 S Park Street West
    Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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“I was able to spend the last few months with Leta, and really enjoyed getting to know her. She was a wonderful person and I will greatly miss her. ...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Julie Schoder - Friend

“I had the pleasure of being Letas hygienist for 26 years. We had so many great talks. She really did have a big heart and enjoyed helping those less...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Kristen Bevins - Friend

“I was saddened when my brother Bob (Raenell) Kent told me of Leta's passing. I graduated from U High with her and have fond memories of her! Some of...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Ginny Kent Graybill - Ishpeming, MI

Leta Marie (Grossnickle) Proos of Richland, MI

Leta, age 77, died unexpectedly Saturday evening, April 25, 2020 at her residence, with her son Jim at her side.

Leta, the daughter of Edwin and Fern (Dilling) Grossnickle, was born in Bluffton, IN on February 5, 1943 and moved to the Kalamazoo area in 1957. From an early age, she was talented at music and the arts, especially playing piano. Leta started formal piano training young and became an accomplished pianist, a passion which she enjoyed and shared for over 70 years. Besides the piano, Leta played the bassoon throughout her school years, and some of her music accolades included performing with the Illinois All-State High School Orchestra; singing with the WMU "Varsity Vagabonds;" which was the predecessor to WMU's Gold Company ensemble and winning a song-writing competition for a college women's musical sorority. Leta graduated from University High School in Kalamazoo, then obtained both Bachelor and Masters Degrees from Western Michigan University in Elementary Education and Music Education. After a few years of teaching Elementary school, as well as working as a tutor for students with dyslexia in Kalamazoo, Leta utilized her musical expertise for many years as a piano teacher in the Richland and Kalamazoo area, which she enjoyed immensely. She shared her acumen for teaching music with a passion, which inspired many young piano students, including her two sons, Scott and Jim, both of whom used Leta's piano training as the foundation for life-long performing on piano, drums and percussion and saxophone. Besides music, Leta loved Comedy movies, a good laugh, reading and spending time with her husband, John.

Leta was united in marriage to John R. Proos in Kalamazoo on June 13, 1965 and they enjoyed 50 wonderful years together, which included boating, swimming, travel, participating in Arts and Craft fairs during summers and watching many sunsets together. John preceded her in death on August 17, 2016. Surviving are two sons, Scott Michael Proos of Augusta, MI and James Todd Proos of Kalamazoo; her sister, Joy (Rev. Dr. Wayne) Large of Mesa, AZ and two brothers, Dr. Neil E. Grossnickle of Grand Rapids, MI and Dr. Nevin "Ned" (Mary) Grossnickle of Mosinee, WI, as well as many nieces and nephews. Leta was also preceded in death by her parents and a younger sister, Judy.

Due to the Health Crisis, a private family gathering at Leta and Jim's grave in Prairie Home Cemetery, Richland has been held. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Leta's honor may be directed to the Interlochen Center for the Arts, 4000 M-137, Interlochen, MI 49643 or the First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo, 212 S. Park Street, West, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. The Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Richland Chapel (269-629-6022) is assisting Leta's family.