Thursday, December 4, 2008

Francis 'Lee' Sprague

KENOSHA – Francis L. “Lee” Sprague, 83, our beloved dad, passed away peacefully at Harbor House North in Kenosha on Thursday, December 4, 2008.

Lee was born in Coshocton, OH, on May 13, 1925, to Carson and Annabelle (nee: Elliott) Sprague. He graduated from Coshocton High in 1943. He then enlisted and served in the Marine Corps from 1943 to 1946 during World War II. Lee fought courageously in the bloody battle of Iwo Jima with the 5th Marine Division and participated in the Occupation of Japan at Sasebo.

In 1948, Lee moved to Racine and met and fell in love with Louise Maxon. They were united in marriage on September 30, 1950, and married for 34 years before Louise was hit by a drunk driver and passed away on November 12, 1984.

Lee worked for the Racine Water Department on the outside crew for over 25 years prior to his retirement in 1987. He especially loved driving his Water Dept. dump truck.

Lee always remained a small town Ohio boy at heart. He enjoyed life’s simple pleasures -- working in his tomato patch and sitting outside in the sun watching the world pass by. He also enjoyed taking rides through the countryside, watching TV, playing cards and having a couple of beers with his buddies. Lee was unfailingly cheerful and easy-going throughout his life, even at the end. When asked how he was feeling he’d always enthusiastically respond, “Terrific!”

Lee was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and he will be deeply missed and always loved.

Surviving are his daughter, Sherry (Gary) Horton; and sons, Rick of Racine, Dave and former daughter-in-law, Lorie, of Huntington Beach, CA.; grandsons Kevin (Amy), Mark (Jessica), Kyle, Jason and Austin; and his granddaughter, Heather. He is further survived by his great-grandchildren, Luke, Chase, Cornelious and Jaden. He is also survived by his sister, Nancy Eyster, and niece, Mindy (Jim) Shank of Springfield, OR.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his infant brother, Garvey; sisters Betty and Yvonne; daughter-in-law Wendy Leittl Sprague; brother-in-law Edwin Eyster and long-time companion, Esther Markus.

Visitation will be at the funeral home on Sunday, December 7, 2008, from 5 to 8 p.m. Private interment will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Lee’s family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to Julia, Candace and all the other wonderful and compassionate caregivers at Harbor House who lovingly cared for Dad for the past four years. Thanks to all of you and your deep commitment to your residents, Dad was able to live the last years of his life with dignity in a loving and caring environment. Thanks also to Pat and Colleen from Hospice Alliance for the care, compassion and support you’ve given to Dad and us.

Draeger-Langendorf Funeral Home & Crematory
4600 County Line Rd., Racine (262) 552-9000

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