Robert “Bob” E. Sprague, age 89, of Independence Kentucky, formerly from Barrington, RI, and Stuart, Florida, passed away peacefully, at his home, Friday October 29th. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Audrey Perreault Sprague, whom he adored. Their never-ending love, admiration and respect for each other was an inspiration to everyone around them. Bob had a great gift and ability to uplift others. He lived by the motto “leave others happier for having spent time with you.”
Bob was pre-deceased at an early age by his parents, Elmer Robert and Harriet Prout Sprague, from Quincy, Massachusetts. When Bob was seven his family was breaking up, and they sent him and his brother Paul, nine, to Stevens Home for Boys in Swansea, Massachusetts. He lived there for eleven years until he turned 18. He then walked to the Walker Farm with 10 cents in his pocket looking for a place to live. He was taken in by his “Guardian Angels” and “adopted” by the Walker Family - Ian MacLean and Frances Peckham Walker, both deceased, from Little Compton, Rhode Island.
Bob graduated Case High School, Swansea, Massachusetts in 1951. He was Vice President, of his Senior Class and student body, and a member of the Case Football team. He joined U. S. Army in 1951 and was honorably discharged in 1954. Bob participated in the Korean War on the front lines. He moved quickly up the ranks and was the highest-ranking soldier as a Staff Sergeant, responsible for the heavy-weapons platoon. He was the only soldier to receive a Military Appointment to West Point straight from the front lines, however, did not attend, due to age. Bob graduated from Bryant College with a BS in Business Administration in 1956, and became Personnel Manager, for UPS, assisting in opening New England. He promoted to General Manager of the Worcester operation, and left UPS in 1959 for sales, his first love.
In 1959 he ran the Sales Division for the newly created plastic machinery division of Davis-Standard in Mystic, Connecticut. He next became VP of Sales for Sterling Extruders in S. Plainfield, New Jersey, and in 1971, to keep his family in Barrington, formed his own company Plastic Processing Machinery, Inc.
Bob was a communicant of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Barrington, Rhode Island for over 60 years, a member of the Vestry, and Couples Club, which he headed with Audrey for several years. He greeted and ushered regularly.
He served as a Trustee on the St. Andrews School Board of Directors.
He served on the Board of Tax Assessors for Town of Barrington for several years, and chaired the board for three years.
Bob’s passions were family, golf, skiing, sailing, friends, He had a love, due to his upbringing, for helping up young people he sensed were struggling.
He was a member of the Barrington Yacht Club active in sailing.
He skied with his family in Waterville Valley, NH and with several other Barrington families. These were cherished times and friendships.
He retired in 2000 to Harbour Ridge Yacht and Country Club in Palm City, Florida; and divided his time between Florida and Rhode Island
He was a member of Rhode Island Country Club from 1973 until present – active in golfing and heading the Tuesday Night Twilight Golf for several years. He and Audrey proudly Chaired the 87th USGA Women’s Golf Championship for RICC in 1987.
Bob leaves his two children, Kimberley Sprague Anderson and husband Frohman; Bradford Walker Sprague and wife Wendy; and five grandchildren: Frohman Anderson and wife Grace, and Ava Sprague Anderson; Cody Walker Sprague and wife Brittany; Whitney Sprague Taylor and husband Nicholas; and Logan Robert Sprague; his siblings Paul Porter Sprague, deceased, and sister, Margie Sprague Harshberger of El Monte, California; his “adopted” family William Thomas Walker; Ian Mclean Walker, Jr. (deceased), and wife Melissa; Cynthia Walker Martin and husband William; and Coll MacLean Walker and partner Fran.
We will be forever thankful for the love and care provided by Bob’s nurse’s aides for the last three years: especially Martha, Clara, Deb, Estrella, Lisa, Tish, Sabrina, Shaneen, Nicole and Courtney.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. John’s Church, 181 County Road, Barrington RI 02806 or to The Church of the Good Shepherd, 400 Seabrook Road, Tequesta FL 33469, or to Button Hole Golf Course, North Providence RI.
Calling hours will be Thursday, November 11 2021, from 3:30-6pm at Smith-Mason Funeral Home, Riverside, RI. Services to held at 11am on November 12th at St. Johns’s Church, Country Road, Barrington, to be followed by private burial with military honors.
* For the safety of our staff and the families we serve face masks ARE required.
Memorial Garden Fund- St. John's Episcopal Church
1 County Road, Barrington RI 02806
Button Hole Golf
1 Buttonhole Dr,, Providence, RI 02909
The Church of the Good Shepherd
400 Seabrook Road,, Tequesta FL 33469