Billy Roy Prochaska, a resident of Baton Rouge, passed away peacefully on June 6, 2023, with loved ones at his side at the age of eighty-four. He was born on May 30, 1939, in Pineville, Louisiana. Billy was the second of three sons born to Otto Prochaska, Sr., and Bertha Goldstein Prochaska O’Neal. He graduated from Pineville High School in 1957, where he was a member of the school band and baseball team. He then went on to attend Southwestern Louisiana Institute (SLI), now known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering in 1961.
Billy proudly served our country in the United States Navy (1961-1965). After completing Officer Candidate School and a US Navy civil engineering course, he served as the Public Works Officer for the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi until his discharge in 1965. In 1964, while stationed in Gulfport as a lieutenant, Billy met the love of his life, Maria Truxillo, to whom he has been married for over 57 years.
Billy then continued his education at the University of Florida, completing his Master of Engineering. He was a practicing land surveyor and civil engineer for 50 years. During that time, he worked for Louis J. Capozzoli, Soil Testing Engineers, and Woodward-Clyde Consultants. In 1983, Billy took a leap of faith and opened his own engineering firm in Baton Rouge, Soils and Foundation Engineers, which he successfully ran with the help of his family until his retirement in 2004. Some of Billy’s proudest accomplishments during his successful engineering career include: being the President of the Louisiana Groundwater Association and President of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); his work on the levee failures from Hurricane Katrina; and his time teaching at both his alma mater, UL, and LSU. While “retired”, Billy continued to be an outside consultant for several more years.
Billy was a member of St. George Catholic Church in Baton Rouge, where he served as an usher for over 40 years. He always joked that he and his wife, Maria, have been at St. George so long that they endured every building fundraiser the church has ever had.
He had several passions in life. Billy would always let you know about his love of his Czech heritage. He cherished attending the Czech Heritage Festival in Libuse, Louisiana. Billy enjoyed that he was part of the “POLKA DOTS” band growing up, playing the cornet. He and Maria traveled to the Czech Republic twice in retirement, and their joy was evident when they got to share their stories about those trips. Billy was the epitome of a professional geotechnical engineer with a passion for high standards. He was a die-hard UL Ragin’ Cajuns fan, holding season tickets for the Cajuns’ football team for 30-plus years. Every Friday was Cajun red shirt day! But, most important, was the love and passion Billy had for his family. It was apparent to everyone that Billy would move mountains to make sure Maria and his children had what they needed.
Billy is preceded in death by his parents Otto Prochaska, Sr., and Bertha Goldstein Prochaska O’Neal. He is survived by his wife, Maria Truxillo Prochaska, their five children and respective families: Maria and Trent Boudreaux (Shelby); William and Jenifer Prochaska (Meredith, Sydney, Thomas, Addison); Kathleen and Todd Guedry (Amanda, Sarah); Michael and Kamile Prochaska (Sammy, Jacob); and Thomas and Lori Prochaska (Brooke, Mason, Mignon). He is also survived by his two brothers: Otto Prochaska, Jr. and his wife Libby; and Dr. Bobby Prochaska and his wife Paulette.
The family would like to thank the nurses at The Crossing by Clarity Hospice for the exceptional care given. We would also like to thank the staff at Magnolia Brook Assisted Living along with Always Best Care Senior Services.
Services will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at St. George Catholic Church, 7808 St. George Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809 with the visitation beginning at 9:30 AM until Mass of Christian burial at 11:00 AM.
Pallbearers will be Jimmy Lamy, Josh Ydarraga, Jacob Contreras, Matthew Dixon, Mason Prochaska, Thomas Prochaska, Jacob Prochaska, and Sammy Brown.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Billy’s name to the St. Vincent DePaul Society, the World War II Museum in New Orleans, or the UL Alumni Association in Lafayette.