Jacqueline L. Proner, a medical doctor, community volunteer and mother who was married to Westchester County Legislator David Gelfarb, died Tuesday. She was 49.
The cause stemmed from an ongoing heart condition, colleagues said.
Proner and Gelfarb, who had served for four years as a Rye town councilman before being elected to the county board last year, had been married for more than 20 years. They had three children together and lived in Rye Brook.
“She was a terrific mother and was tremendously devoted to her family and temple,” Gelfarb said today. “It leaves a tremendous hole in our lives … All her friends loved her. We will miss her terribly.”
Proner and her family are active members of Congregation KTI in Port Chester, where services will be held Thursday.
Whether it was working in the religious school, cooking for Passover or packing and delivering Purim baskets, Proner was always willing and able to help out as a volunteer, according to Rita Unger, administrator at the temple. She was “pleasant, positive and friendly,” Unger said.
“She volunteered for everything and anything,” Unger said. “If I ever called, she would try to help out.”
Proner specialized in internal medicine, allergies and immunology and had practices in Bronx, Queens and Northport, Long Island. She graduated from Smith College and St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada.
County lawmakers, who were saddened by the news of her passing, said in the brief time they knew Proner they were impressed with her. She was smart, funny and outgoing, said Minority Leader James Maisano, a Republican from New Rochelle who met Proner during Gelfarb’s run for the county board. Gelfarb, a Republican, won the seat that was vacated by Democrat Martin Rogowsky. Proner was active in her husband’s campaign.
“She had a great, fun and outgoing personality,” Maisano said. “She had an engaging and fun personality. It’s very tragic that she’s passed.”
“On behalf of the Westchester County Board of Legislators and its staff members, I extend my heartfelt condolences to our colleague, Legislator David Gelfarb, on the passing of his wife, Dr. Jacqueline L. Proner,” Chairman Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, said in a statement. “Our thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with Legislator Gelfarb and his family in this time of grief and sorrow.”
County Executive Rob Astorino said he was saddened to hear of Proner’s untimely passing.
“I was saddened to hear the news of Jacquie’s untimely passing. I knew Jacquie as a driving force behind David’s campaign for county legislator and it was clear that she not only supported her husband and family, but cared deeply about the issues affecting her fellow Westchester residents,” Astorino said. “She will be missed most in her role as a wife and mother. My prayers are with David and the children
Daniel, Lauren and Allison during this incredibly difficult time.”
Proner is survived by her parents, Viola and Stanley; her husband, David, and three children; Daniel, 18, Lauren, 17 and Allison, 12.