Sprague, Ralph Herbert Jr. (1925-2008)

He worked on the first Gray rescue unit with wife Dorothy Sprague and Dr. Russell.  Ralph also played Santa Claus to Gray kids.

Excerpt from his obituary, Lincoln County News, 28 Apr 2008:

WALDOBORO: Ralph Herbert Sprague Jr., 83, died April 24, 2008, at Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta. He was born Jan. 11, 1925, in Waldoboro along with his twin brother, Frederick, a son of the late Ralph and Thelma Cornish Sprague. He was the oldest of 11 children. He grew up in Newcastle and attended local schools. He was employed at the Harding Plant prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy.

On July 7, 1943, he enlisted in the Seabees part of the U.S. Navy. He had basic training at Camp Perry, Va. He left for overseas from Gulfport, Miss., on the USS Azalea City to Nouhea, New Hebrides in the South Pacific. He participated in battles on Guadalcanal, Russell Islands, New Guinea, Manus a part of the Admiralty Islands. This is where he received all of his injuries when the USS Mount Hood exploded on Nov. 10, 1944. He was very nearby unloading the ship's ammunition and received many pieces of shrapnel from the explosion that had to be removed from his chest, face and neck. For many years after, the shrapnel would work its way to the surface. After recovering from his injuries he was honorably discharged and returned home where he married the love of his life, the girl he had been dating and writing to, Dorothy Shuman.

He worked as a truck driver for many years before starting his own company, D & R Trucking in Gray in the 1970s. In the '80s he retired and began working for his brother, Neil Sprague. In 1996 he moved back to Waldoboro and worked for Ferraiolo's in Rockland. He was especially grateful to his special family, Jody and Leisa Sprague, who were always willing to help.

He was a lifetime member of Soule-Shuman Memorial VFW Post 4524 and was a member of the Senior Citizens. He was a Boy Scout leader. He helped establish the Gray Rescue and helped as a driver. He played Santa for many years in both Gray and Waldoboro. In January he received long overdue medals and awards for his combat service on the Admiralty Islands.

He loved camping and traveling with Dot.

Sponsor: Martha A. Lamb (daughter)
Added: 20 Oct 2015