Richard L. Sprague

Richard Lewis Sprague, 96, died on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. He had suffered from, and many times rallied through, heart problems. He succumbed to congestive heart failure.

A memorial Mass will be held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Homer at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 11, 2013.

Richard was born in Oregon, Wis., on June 12, 1916, to Lewis and Elsa Sprague. During his high school years they moved to the family farm in McFarland, Wis., where he helped his parents work the farm until his military enlistment in 1941. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Wilma, and brother Harry.

Staff Sergeant Sprague married Evelyn Mackesey of Madison, Wis., in a Catholic ceremony at Luke Field, Ariz., on May 26, 1943. Richard had enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1941, and served as a flight mechanic during military assignments,  including time during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, then his final four-year assignment at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska,  where he retired at age 55 in 1971 with the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

Richard and his wife, Evelyn, then scouted out retirement areas and decided to return to Homer, and make their home here. The ample opportunities for hunting, fishing, and all the outdoor pursuits he loved were a big draw.

During Richard’s active duty years his family traveled with him or followed to assignments — to Japan for two tours, Germany, and various stateside bases. The couple had five children.

In his Homer retirement, Richard became captain in a charter fishing business, first working for other organizations, then with his own Grizzly Charters operation, until his second retirement in 1990. During those years he continued making enduring friendships with sport fishermen who made recurring trips, from Alaska and from other states, to fish with him in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet. He was also active in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Elks Club through the years.

Richard is survived by his wife, Evelyn; four children, Carolyn Sprague, Patricia Wick (Robert), Robert Sprague (Katharine) and Joanne Sprague; two grandchildren, Barbara Hall and Johnny Sprague, and one great-grandson, Keegan Hall. Daughter Margaret Sprague Pulliam (Roy) preceded him in death. 

Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.