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Mr. AndrÃ© Leroy Procope was born on the beautiful island of St. Kitts and Nevis on September 15th, 1928, to Robert and Christobel Procope. He is the third of seven children. The oldest child, Esmond, died at the age of 21 in 1945, and the other five siblings: Edez, Boysie, Florine, Mervyn, and Cutie, are still living.
Mr. Procope was a high achiever and a trailblazer. At the age of sixteen, he qualified as a School Teacher which required the highest marks in school. In his youth, he worked as a newspaper printer, in the office of a sugar plantation, and as a police officer, before becoming the first in his family to immigrate to England. Mr. Procope believed that his world was limitless, and he went on to live in many other places including Canada, New York, Florida, andâfor the past twenty-eight yearsâin California.
Mr. Procope loved his family above all else. In 1950, he welcomed his first child, Sheila, and the next year he had his daughter Marilyn. In 1974, he had his son Tacuma. He continually supported his family: sending money home to his parents and helping two of his younger siblings immigrate to Canada.
He spent twenty-five years in New York where he enjoyed a successful career as a Civil Engineer. He worked on well-known projects including the World Trade Center and Madison Square Gardens. He started playing chess, his favorite hobby, in 1972. He has been dedicated to the game ever since and has served as a chess instructor for Breezy Point Yacht Club and schools in Sacramento.
Mr. Procope never accepted ânoâ on account of his race or country of origin. He continually defied the odds by purchasing property in a âwhite-onlyâ area and obtaining job positions no Black man had held before him. Education was his passport to success. Upon arriving to New York, he successfully obtained his GED without any prior preparation.
He went on to earn his B.A. in Business in 1986 from Long Island University. In 1989, Mr. Procope founded the Nevis National Party and ran for Prime Minister. In 1999, he fulfilled a long-time personal goal by obtaining his Juris Doctorate from Northwestern California University.
In 1986, Mr. Procope met the love of his lifeâhis soulmateâDoreen Brown. He called her the âapple of his eye.â They wed in 1990 in Birmingham, England and later welcomed two children: Danielle in 1992 and Esmond in 1995. They remained steadfast and dedicated to each other throughout their nearly thirty-two years of marriage. When he passed away, they were in each otherâs embrace.
Mr. Procope published a book of poetry entitled The Joy of Living is Sharing in 1996. In 2018, at the age of ninety, he published his autobiography entitled Like a Game of Chess. The autobiography was the culmination of his daughter Danielle transcribing countless hours of interviews and conversations. He knew this book would be his legacy and the way for his descendants to know and understand who he was and so he was thrilled to see the book come to fruition.
Like his father before him, Mr. Procope had a green thumb. He loved planting herbs, vegetables, and fruits. He was particularly proud of his grape vines. He loved all âGodâs creaturesâ and regularly fed birds and squirrels. He was very fond of chess and dominoes and played both games at every opportunity. He loved Christmas more than any other holiday and would always bake coconut tarts, bread pudding, make incredible sorrel, ginger beer, and lemonade and enjoy the company of family and friends.
Mr. Procope was very serious about the Lord and his Seventh-Day Adventist faith. He served as a Deacon for Lake City SDA Church in Florida. He played the piano, harmonica, and had a beautiful singing voice. He will be remembered by his family and loved ones as a formidable thinker, a fearless leader, a loving husband and father, and as a warrior for the Lord. May he rest in peace.
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