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Michael Joseph Sprute (08/26/1950 - 11/02/2010)

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Michael Joseph

August 26, 1950 -
November 2, 2010

Born in Wallace, ID as the youngest son of George A. and Hilda B. (Schaeffer) Sprute, Mike spent his early childhood in Mullan, ID. He graduated from Mullan High School in 1968 and worked for a year in the Lucky Friday Mine before entering the University of Idaho. He married Judy Hendrickson (also of Mullan) in June of 1972 and welcomed his first child, Jennifer Kristi, in December the same year. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business in 1973, Mike and his family moved to Spokane, where he took a job working for Fidelity Bank. This began his lifelong career of real estate appraising. In July 1974, he welcomed his second child, Michael Kelly, into the family. After his divorce from Judy, Mike met his second wife, Sheryl Curry Atwood, while on a business trip to Midland, TX. Mike and Sheryl wed in May of 1982 in Midland, TX, where they lived for the next five years. Upon marrying Sheryl, Mike became a step-dad to Daniel Rogers Atwood and then welcomed his second daughter, Stephanie Quinn, to the family in March of 1983. While he enjoyed living in Texas, Mike always yearned to return to the Pacific Northwest, which he did in June of 1987. Mike and Sheryl divorced many years later. At the time of his death, he and his partner of several years, Connie Jean Friebus, were living in Colbert, WA on property that was spacious enough for four horses and his riding lawn mower.

Mike enjoyed his work as a real estate appraiser, eventually narrowing his focus to commercial properties. He worked for several companies in Spokane and Midland, and also had success in maintaining a couple private businesses, the final being Appraisal Group Northwest located in the Spokane Valley. He earned his MAI (Member of the Appraisal Institute) designation in November of 1983 and was licensed in both Washington and Idaho.

One of Mike's deepest passions was for his family, even while that family changed over the years. He felt a responsibility toward those who were blood relations and those who he chose as his family. He did not like to see anyone suffer and strived to help those special people in his life. Mike had a love of life and a love of the outdoors. He enjoyed working in his yard and particularly enjoyed working with his hands and figuring out the solutions to home problems.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, George and Hilda; his brothers Jerry, Donald, and David; his grandson, Dylan; and his ex-wife Judy. He is survived by brothers Fritz Sprute (Vancouver, WA) and Herb Sprute (Duvall, WA); sisters MaryAnn Gabbard (North Carolina), Bette Clark (Tacoma, WA), Dorothy Murphy (Olympia, WA), Connie Kee (Spokane), and Linda Wright (Boise, ID); daughters Kristi Proctor (Hillsboro, OR) and Stephanie Sprute (Laughlin, NV); sons Kelly Sprute (Everett, WA) and Daniel Atwood (Spokane); son-in-law Kevin Proctor; grandchildren Collin, Connor, Keegan, Evelyn, and Quinn; partner Connie Friebus (Colbert) and her children Dustin Friebus (Spokane), Tamsen Friebus (Seattle), Caitlyn Friebus (Spokane), and Tristan Friebus (Spokane); as well as numerous nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues.

A rosary will be said in his honor at 7pm Friday, November 12 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church. His funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 13 at noon, also at St. Thomas More. The family requests that remembrances be made to Be The Match Foundation ( in honor of his grandson, Dylan.

You may visit Mike's memorial and sign his online guest book at

Published in Spokesman-Review from Nov. 10 to Nov. 11, 2010
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