Captain Ward Hornblower Proescher passed away on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at the age of 79. He was born on August 31, 1935 in Cary, North Carolina. Following his graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1959, he served in the Navy for several years aboard the USS Hermitage.
After his service he moved to California to pursue a diverse career – he started out in corporate sales, became a stock broker, and was a public speaker and lecturer. While living aboard a yacht in San Francisco he discovered a passion for entertaining friends on the Bay and turned it into a career.
In 1971 he married Susan Dittmar in San Francisco and together they founded Hornblower Yachts, which they ran together until 1980. In 1986 they started Commodore Cruises & Events, which is still run by the family to this day. They raised their sons Toby and Morgan in Lafayette and enjoyed the beauty of the Bay Area as a family. In his final years, Ward, lovingly called “Skipper” by his grandchildren, enjoyed spending time with family and friends and, ever the Captain, spent as much time on the water as he could.
Most recently, Ward and Susan established residence in Discovery Bay and became active members of the community and of the yacht club.
Ward is survived by Susan, his wife of forty-four years, their sons Toby and Morgan, his daughters-in-law Sanda and Casey, his grandchildren Caroline, Maggie and Eva and his brother Richard Proescher. He is preceded in death by his parents, Andrew and Gladys Proescher, and his brother Andrew Jay Proescher.
A service will be held to honor Ward’s life on Sunday, April 26th at 2:00 in the afternoon aboard the Cabernet Sauvignon Commodore (2394 Mariner Square Drive, Alameda). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Salvation Army. (provided by Casey Proescher)