Henry A. Prager, 84, proprietor of Prager Excavating in Schenevus for a half-century, passed away unexpectedly on Jan. 29, 2020 at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany.

He was born in Jersey City, N.J., on March 12, 1935, to German Immigrants August and Johanna (Busch) Prager.

In 1945 they purchased a farm on Bedeau Hill Road, outside Schenevus, where he grew up as a teenager farming and hunting.

There, he discovered a love of the outdoors and his home. He became a skilled hunter with a keen eyesight and marksman accuracy.

After graduating from High School in 1953 from Andrew S. Draper High School, he jonied the Army and was stationed in France and Austria in 1954-57. There he became one of the Army’s elite tractor-trailer drivers, entering and winning many competitions.

Upon his return home from the Army, Henry started his own excavating business where he was owner/operator for over 50 years. Henry had an extraordinary skill level in operating his machinery, specifically his Case Backhoes. He also had a great imagination for ponds and built countless numbers of them for people over the years.

Henry was also a talented letter writer, painter, welder, mechanic and jokester. He was a huge part of the community and was easily recognizable with his painted yellow/black machinery bearing his name. He donated his time to the village by tearing down old buildings, repairing the Schenevus Creek wall and helping build the Town Pavilion.

While on a hired job locally Henry met Mildred McMillen, who would become the love of his life. They married in 1962 and were together over 50 years until her death on Jan. 30, 2013.

Survivors are their two sons, August (Jackie) and Kurt (Karen); grandchildren Lia, Logan and Lucas as well as many beloved friends.

As per the family request a private ceremony will be held at a later date.

Donations may be made to Schenevus-Maryland Emergency Squad, PO Box 80, Schenevus NY 12155.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to, www.hellerskinnerfh.com.

Arrangements are entrusted with Heller & Skinner Funeral Home, 155 Main St., Worcester, NY.

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