ANN A. SPRAGUE

Posted Sept. 25, 2008, at 11:16 p.m.

BANGOR – Ann A. Sprague, an active worker in the arts, both in Virginia and Maine, died July 16, 2008. She was the wife of Richard W. Sprague. She was born May 11, 1932, and grew up in Roanoke, Va. Ann was educated in Roanoke, Va., and Detroit schools. Ann took pride in her railroad career with Norfolk and Western Railroad and in her family background in the industry. Her father was a freight conductor for the Virginian Railroad and Norfolk and Western Railroad. She entered Norfolk and Western service in 1951 as stores department employee and joined the public relations department as assistant editor of Norfolk and Western Magazine in 1961. She found the work interesting and challenging, and in her work, she traveled the entire railroad system, working on stories. She retired from the railroad in 1971 to marry Richard Sprague. Throughout her life, volunteering and public service were an important part of her life and career. The list includes Girl Scouts and United Way, in both Roanoke, Va., and Bangor. She handled public relations for Roanoke Fine Arts Center and was director of Mill Mountain Playhouse and founding member of Showtimers, as well as a director, actress and stage manager. She also served as president, and was named a life member. After she moved to Bangor, she served on the boards of Bangor District Nursing Association, Bangor Community Theatre, Penobscot Theatre and St. Joseph Hospital Auxiliary. She was a member and later president of the boards of Bangor Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Women. In her professional life she belonged to the Virginia Press Women’s Association and was honored as a member of Outstanding Young Women of America. In addition to her husband, she is survived by stepchildren, Stephen Fox and his partner, Jim Marler, of Baltimore, Susan Sprague and sons, Neil and Will Schwarz, of Phoenixville, Pa., Jonathan and Suzanne Sprague of Brewer, Robin Sprague of Bangor, Christopher Sprague of Wiscasset and his daughter, Kristina, of Nobleboro; and a special Goddaughter, Lucy Henderson and her husband, Richard and their children, all of Baltimore. Her immediate family, all of whom predeceased her, included her parents, Robert Akers and Fannie Runyon Akers; siblings, Paul and Virginia Akers Davidson, Beverly and Kathleen Akers Fitzgerald and Robert G. Akers Jr. and Eileen Pressley Akers. Her death leaves a great empty space against the sky for her family and friends. She lived her life with courage and dignity. Family and friends are invited to a memorial service 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St., Bangor, with the Rev. Canon Mary Ann Taylor, pastoral associate of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Bangor, presiding. All are invited to share conversation and refreshments immediately after the service at Brookings-Smith Family Center, 163 Center St., Bangor. Gifts in her memory may be made to Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St., Bangor, ME 04401, Bangor Symphony Orchestra, 51 Main St., Bangor, ME 04401 or St. Joseph Healthcare, P.O. Box 1638, Bangor, ME 04402-1638.

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