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Samuel Luther Sprayberry


1922 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Samuel Luther Sprayberry Obituary
Samuel Luther Sprayberry, 93, Floral City, passed away August 24, 2016 at Bayfront Hospital in Brooksville, Florida. Samuel was born in Newton County, Georgia to the late Eugene and Pearl (Roseberry) Sprayberry on September 26, 1922 and moved to Citrus County from St Petersburg, Florida in 1973. He was a retired sheet metal worker, and still a member of Local Number 15, Tampa, Florida. Samuel proudly served our country in the U. S. Naval Blimp Corp during WW II. Everyone that knew Mr. Sprayberry knew him as "Sam", Sam left Georgia Tech, where he was studying to become an Engineer, to volunteer for the U.S. Navy. His duty in the Navy was in Aircraft Ordinance, loading bombs and depth charges on the blimps.
When on patrol in the Atlantic Ocean, the blimp and crew aboard, made a "run" on a partially submerged submarine. His duty on this flight was machine gunner. The submarine was eventually sunk but not before the blimp took machine gun fire. One of those bullets hit the gun "Sam" was operating, causing it to dissolve into shrapnel. Sam never asked for nor received any disability as he felt there were "plenty of others in greater need." Sam served in the Naval Reserves until 1960, during this time he qualified as a Jet Pilot out of Jacksonville, Florida. Although, primarily in the sheet metal trade, Sam was qualified as an Insulator. He worked in power plants and paper mills throughout Florida and Georgia.
He loved golfing, hunting, and fishing. Hunting and fishing brought Sam to Citrus County in the early 1960's. He loved to be on the Withlacoochee River at the mouth of Jumper Creek with his longtime friend Ray Hooks.
Left to mourn his loss and cherish his memory is his daughter, Beverly Long and her husband, Thomas Long, Jr. of Floral City; 1 grandson, Thomas D. Long, III and his wife, Noreen; three great grandchildren, Cheryl A. Butler, Mike Anton, and David Rich.
Mr. Sprayberry was preceded in death by his wife, Muriel E. Sprayberry on January 9, 1999 and a grand daughter, Deborah A. Butler.
There will be a celebration of life service at a later date. Interment will be private in the Lake Lindsey Cemetery. Chas. E. Davis Funeral Home With Crematory is assisting the family.
Published in Citrus County Chronicle on Sept. 14, 2016
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