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Obituary: Businessman John Proios, 85

John G. Proios, who built two insurance agencies in Suffolk County and was active in the Lions Club, has died.

Proios, who moved to Florida about 15 years ago, died Dec. 26 in the Suncoast Hospice in Palm Harbor. He was 85.

After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the light aircraft carrier Belleau Wood, Proios became an independent insurance agent, opening a one-room office that grew into the Proios Agency on Hawkins Avenue in Ronkonkoma.

Later he formed the Proios and Ullrich agency in Port Jefferson and in 1976 he was elected president of the New York State Association of Insurance Agents.

Proios was active in the Lake Ronkonkoma volunteer fire department and a founding member and past president of the Lake Ronkonkoma Lions Club. He volunteered every year for the club's Thanksgiving Basket donations to needy families.

"I remember going out every Thanksgiving. We made hundreds of baskets, putting in canned food and turkeys, and then going out in the car to distribute them. I never knew where he got the lists," his son, George, said.

Proios also was a director of the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce.

Proios, coming from a politically active family in Brookhaven, was the brother of former town tax receiver, councilman and Suffolk County Legis. Alex Proios (R-Lake Ronkonkoma), and the father of Brookhaven Zoning Board of Appeals member and former assistant county executive for environmental affairs George Proios.

In addition to his wife, Athena, to whom he had been married for 61 years, Proios is survived by five children: George of Farmingville, John of Port Jefferson Station, Diane of Port Jefferson Station, Christos of Manhattan and Anastasia Hackett of Rocky Point; his brother, Alex, of Smithtown; 10 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

Services were held in Florida. The family has requested that any donations be made to Suncoast Hospice of Florida, 2675 Tampa Rd., Palm Harbor, FL 34684.

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