Huntsville businessman and philanthropist Bill Propst, Sr. passes away at 81

William "Bill" Self Propst Sr. (Photo: Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A successful businessman and philanthropist in Huntsville has died.

According to our news partners at, William ‘Bill’ Self Propst, Sr. passed away Friday at the age of 81.

Propst graduated from Columbia Military Academy in Columbia, Tenn. and then from Samford University with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in 1961.

Propst founded Propst Drugs of Huntsville, and became President of Kmart’s Pharmacy Division when Kmart bought Propst Drugs in 1970.

Most recently, Propst founded Propst Properties, a regional real estate company with offices in Huntsville and Birmingham.

Late in his career, he focused much of his attention to philanthropic activities. As an individual and in partnership with The Propst Foundation, Propst made substantial donations to Samford University, Hudson Alpha Institute, Randolph School, renovations of Propst Arena, and the construction of the Eloise McDonald Propst Welcome Center at Huntsville Botanical Gardens, among others.

One viewer reached out to WHNT News 19 to talk about Propst’s character, saying that he was a “giving and caring person who always took care of people.” Ron Dunivant is the son of a man who worked for Propst: “Anything my dad needed, Mr. Propst helped him.”

“He will always be a legend to me. I will always look up to him because of the way he treated my parents.”

Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 3 at First United Methodist Church on Greene Street, with the funeral service to follow at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking memorials to be made to The First United Methodist Church or a charity of your choice.

Propst will be buried during a private family ceremony at Maple Hill Cemetery.

Read more on Propst at

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