Obituary of Charles A. deProsse
Charles A. deProsse, MD, MPH died at home on September 10, 2021. He was 95. Family members were with him and he was under Iowa City Hospice care. Chuck was born and lived many years in New York state. In his late teens he worked as a grave digger for 90 cents an hour and after graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Navy V-12 program (an accelerated officer training program) and attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, earning an undergraduate degree with a pre-med major in 22 months. He then attended Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York City. After graduating he completed an internship at St. Lukes Hospital in NYC and then fulfilled his obligation to the Armed Services by serving on active duty in the US Naval Reserve during the Korean War; he was honorably discharged as a Lt. Senior Grade. From 1953-58 he was a resident in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York Lying-in Hospital, and in his last year of residency he was Chief Resident. Returning to Ithaca, Dr. deProsse was in private practice for twelve years before working in the United States government health service in St. Thomas, VI. Returning stateside, he attended the School of Public Health at the University of California-Berkeley, graduating with a Masters in Maternal and Child Health. In 1972 he joined the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Medicine and remained there until retiring in April 1996. At Iowa, Dr. deProsse worked with the Rape Victim Advocacy Program to develop a protocol for care of female victims of sexual assault, He also served as director of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics pregnancy termination service. He helped establish the Uro-Gynecologic division of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, served on the national Board of Directors of the American Uro-gynecologic Society, and was elected its president in 1993. Dr. deProsse made several trips to Nicaragua in the 1980s to assist the post-revolutionary government establish maternal health programs. As part of that effort, he spent time in Guatemala trying to learn Spanish. Despite his successes in many areas of life, learning Spanish was not one of them. For many years Chuck served on the Johnson County Department of Public Health Board of Directors and participated in various capacities with the United Way of Johnson County. He served as medical director for the Emma Goldman Clinic for Women in Iowa City from its earliest inception, and volunteered his services at the Cedar Rapids Clinic for Women and Planned Parenthood of Iowa City. He served as an expert witness for the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York City in multiple cases around the United States, including one which reached the United States Supreme Court. Chuck was an avid mountaineer, climbing mountains throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. He loved to run, ride his bicycle, do jigsaw puzzles, and read. He had a lifelong dedication to learning, taking adult education classes in literature and other subjects through Kirkwood Community College, Coe College in Cedar Rapids and Cornell College in Mt. Vernon. Throughout his years at the University of Iowa he took city buses to and from work or rode his bike, no matter the weather. He was a regular rider of RAGBRAI and TOMRV (Tour of the Mississippi River Valley) and served as a volunteer with TOMRV when he was no longer able to ride. An early childhood illness caused him to eventually become deaf in later life and heavy smoking for a number of his younger years caused him to suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which took his life. He is survived by his wife Carol of Iowa City, his children Nancy, David and Stevan (Patty), son Bruce (Susana), and grandchildren, Alan, Citlalitl, Maggie and Ryan. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Eugene and Victor, and his son Stuart, In the furtherance of science, Dr. deProsse deeded his body to the Anatomy Department at the University of Iowa. His family wishes him to be remembered by his friends and patients as a kind person to all he knew, for his sense of humor, his love of his many dogs and cats, and for his abiding commitment to women’s autonomy. There will be no viewing or service. In his memory, please consider a contribution to the Emma Goldman Clinic for Women, c/o the deProsse Access Fund, 227 N. Dubuque Street, Iowa City, IA 52245.