Proper was an anchor for the Elmira, N.Y. NBC affiliate for more than 40 years before he retired in 2006. He died Saturday morning. Williams, who lived until Elmira until he was 10, described him as “the local go-to guy in so many ways — as a journalist, as a charity fundraiser, as a community leader.”
“It strikes me … after you’re done preparing your broadcast, we’re going to come on the air with ‘Nightly News’ tonight,” Williams told WETM anchor Rebecca Soloman. “And I wonder if any of this would have happened ever if I hadn’t had a great role model on local television in our house on West Church Street in Elmira.”
The video of Williams’ interview has not yet been posted online, but WETM’s tribute to Proper is after the jump.