Her love language was feeding people – physically, emotionally, and spiritually – and Lillian Gray Pronier, 88, was blessed to have spent her life doing just that.
Born in Johnston County on October 3, 1933, as one of eight children to James Carson Hayes and Anna Hayes, Lillian was raised on a tobacco and cotton farm that ensured she was a hard worker from a young age. Independent with a mischievous streak, she believed firmly in the value of an education and a career which led her to Raleigh, NC where she met her husband of 67 years, Robert Anthony Pronier. Lillian was a proud military wife who could always be found opening her door and her kitchen to other families, neighborhood kids, and anyone else who might have been tempted by the unmistakable smell of her fresh apple cake.
Lillian was a longtime parishioner of Gardners Methodist Church in Fayetteville, NC where she sang in the choir and taught Sunday School. She had a deep and abiding faith that was very important to her, and she was responsible for sowing that belief in her children as well. She read her Bible daily, with special care and attention to her favorite verses.
Lillian loved so many things – singing, sewing, walking on the beach, gardening, cooking and shopping to name a few – but nothing more than her family. Her 5 children (Constance Pronier Cooper, Robert Pronier Jr, Barry Pronier, Victor Pronier, and Cynthia Pronier) were the light of her life and raising and supporting her family was her mission. She was happiest when she was on the move: going places, meeting people, and having conversations which made the confinement of the last 2 years challenging. Her independent spirit remained strong until the very end however with her family talking her out of getting her driver’s license renewed just last week (!).
Lillian is survived by her beloved husband, Robert Pronier; daughter, Connie (Tom); sons, Bobby and Barry (Lynn); brother, JC Hayes (Mary); grandchildren, Brittany, Brad (Andrea), Jack, and Joel, and great grandchildren, Caroline and Carter. She is preceded in death by daughter, Cynthia; son, Victor; and siblings Elgia, Emma, Ethan, Jean, Pauline, and Raymond.
A visitation will be held at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home from 5:00pm to 7:00pm on Thursday, January 6, 2021. A Graveside Service will be held at Lafayette Memorial Park on Friday, January 7, 2021 at 11:00am.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests remembrances be made in the form of contributions to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Greater Richmond Chapter 1965 (MOPH 1965). Contributions can be made online at www.purpleheartrichmond.org/donations
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Military Order of the Purple Heart, Greater Richmond Chapter 1965 (MOPH 1965)