Welcome to the memorial page for

Howard Sprague

April 23, 2017

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Howard T. Sprague   "Bud"

 Age 90, passed away on April 23, 2017 in Virginia.  He is survived by his wife, Mary Sapienza Sprague, and daughter, Mary Ellen (Javier) Zavaleta. His grandchildren are Ellen (Daniel) Attard, Stephen and Lauren Zavaleta. His great-grandson is little William Attard.  Uncle Bud had many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by son Paul D. Sprague and brother Harold Sprague of Shortsville, NY.

Bud served in the Navy in WWll. He graduated from Niagara University and St. Louis University. In his lifetime career as a social worker, he felt fulfilled “helping people help themselves.” He worked for the Veteran’s Administration and Catholic Family Services and for nearly 40 years in the Rochester City School District.

Bud was a devout Catholic and a proud member of the Knights of Columbus. He worked raising funds for the Ronald McDonald House, a cause dear to his heart because of his experiences as a parent of a chronically ill child.  He is affectionately known as “Pope Howard” among some members of his family. He would have rejected the sacrilege, but we just mean he was an amazingly good man. He was a person who listened and encouraged and brought out the best in everyone. Even in his last home, troubled by dementia, he saw his role as “to help”. He explained that he worked at Greenspring greeting the “patients” and trying to cheer them up.

As a husband, he was devoted to his wife, Mary. For 65 years, all she had to do was say “Bud!” and he would pop awake from a nap or come right away for whatever she needed. They were always together and enjoyed music, a garden, a family.  As a dad, he never failed to appreciate his daughter’s efforts to make a good dinner or to visit on busy weekends. He listened to her schoolteacher stories and made her the hero.  He offered a different perspective on life to his son-in-law, who appreciated his simple wisdom.  His granddaughter, Ellen, delighted in his proclivity to dance whenever possible. Stephen surprised himself with his likeness to Grandpa in his looks and his love of music. Grandpa attended so many of Lauren’s soccer games in his safari hat and slathered in sunscreen- she appreciated his devotion. Even though he usually cheered for both her team and the opponent.  

He will be missed.

Services and Interment in Palmyra, NY were private.

For donations in his memory, consider these organizations significant to his life:

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Ronald McDonald House

Alzheimer’s Foundation

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 Service Information

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