Del. James E. Proctor Jr., a member of the House of Delegates for more than two decades has died.
Details of Proctor’s death and funeral arrangements were not immediately available. He was 79.
“Delegate Proctor was a steadfast, unflappable member of the House of Delegates, who was always strong in his convictions and a tireless advocate for what he believed in,” said House Speaker Michael E. Busch. “Jim was a great mentor to many members of the House and always had an open door and a good story to tell. Jim was a long-time personal friend. My heartfelt sympathies to his family, especially his wife, Susie.”
Proctor, a Democrat representing Charles and Prince George’s Counties, was appointed to the House of Delegates in 1990, filling a vacancy created by then Del. William R. McCaffrey. He served nearly his entire career as a member of the House Appropriations Committee and was it’s vince chairman since 2007.
“I had the privilege of serving the people of southern Maryland together with Jim for many years and have come to rely on his keen wisdom, and focus on the needs of the people of District 27. Jim was a great legislator, and a true public servant – attending community meetings, caring for the people in the district, and addressing their needs and concerns – no matter how big or small,” said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. “He and his wife Susie have been true partners to myself, Delegate Vallario, Delegate Jackson, the entire General Assembly, and all residents of Southern Prince George’s County and Southern Maryland. Jim Proctor’s impact on Southern Maryland and the entire state is impossible to measure, and his presence and friendship will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Susie and the entire Proctor family as they mourn this loss.”
Born in Washington, D.C., in 1936, Proctor attended public schools and graduated from Dunbar High School. He served in the Air Force from 1961-1962. Proctor later earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Bowie State in 1969 and a master’s in education administration in 1972. He spent 17 years in the Prince George’s County School system. He also worked for 10 years as a virology research technician for the National Institutes of Health.
“He was passionate about the communities he represented, and he used his position on the Appropriations Committee to make a difference for families across Maryland. Jim was a kind, thoughtful and honorable man, and his absence will be felt when the General Assembly convenes in January,” said Maryland Democratic Party Chairman D. Bruce Poole in a statement.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan Thursday night ordered state flags flown at half staff in Proctor’s memory.
“The First Lady and I extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Delegate James Proctor. Delegate Proctor was a fixture in the General Assembly, passionately serving his constituents for 25 years,” Hogan said in a statement. “He touched the lives of countless students during his many years as an educator in Prince George’s County, and served our country as a member of the United States Air Force. We owe Delegate Proctor a debt of gratitude for a lifetime of public service on behalf of the state of Maryland.”
Proctor is survived by his wife, Susie; two children, Edward and Stephanie; and three grandchildren.