Lydia Spratt (1921 - 2016)

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  • "Sincere sympathies on your great loss to all in your family..."
    - V H
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Lydia Harris Renfrow Spratt
December 1, 1921 - August 8, 2016
Lydia was born at Fairfield, ID on December 1, 1921, and after living a very full and productive life, passed away at the age of 94 at Fresno, CA on August 8, 2016.
Mom wrote about her life a few years ago, which seems a perfect way to let her story be told.
I was born in the small town of Fairfield, Idaho. It's not a great deal larger now, but in those days there were many small towns and ranches spread throughout the Camas Prairie. There were also several summer elementary schools, for there was no way for children to get into the town school during the heavy snowfalls of the winter season. I attended one of these schools for eight years. It ran from "snow gone" to "snow comes", usually a 7 ½ month period. I was several years older than my two brothers, so often these long winter months seemed to last forever. One trip weekly, if we were lucky, to town in a horse drawn sled for mail and groceries.
My childhood years were spent on a ranch or at a sawmill my father owned which was located about a mile above what is now the Soldier Mountain ski lift.
Upon entering high school, the family finally moved into town for most of the winter months. Basketball, drama and public speaking are my favorite memories of high school days. Upon graduation, I moved to Gooding and was employed at the State School for Deaf and Blind children.
A few years later I married my high school sweetheart (who had become a "Railroad Man") and for a time we moved around living in some strange and funny surroundings with the Union Pacific. After a short time we moved to Nampa, where we raised 2 sons and 3 daughters. I am now a widow, the grandmother of 13 and great-grandmother of 9.
My husband and I ran an evening telegraph school for 16 years during which time I also worked part time as a real estate saleswoman. I then decided to take the Practical Nurse course at the old Mercy hospital location and then transferred to the new Mercy Medical Hospital on its first day of operation, and I worked here until the Union Pacific moved us to Pocatello. Needless to say, it was a very happy day when my husband retired and we moved "Home to Nampa".
I am now finding much pleasure in being a Mercy volunteer. I work in the gift shop and serve on the Volunteer Board. I am also a Eucharistic Minister serving patients for St. Paul's Catholic Church.
She is survived by her daughter-in-law Nancy Spratt (Michael) of Boise and their children Brian and Bruce; son Jerome and Shirley Spratt of Boise and their children Tina, Nikki and Danielle; daughter Mary Kathleen Mace of Spokane WA and her children David and Keri; daughter Cheryl and William Racz of Boise and their children Amanda, Samantha and Sarah; daughter Christine Malsom and Sally Olson of Fresno CA and Christy's children Tony, Jenny and Jacob. Numerous great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews also survive her.
Lydia was preceded in death by her husband Bruce D. Spratt on Easter Sunday 1993, and by her son Michael B. Spratt in 2000. Her parents, Mary and Carl Renfrow and Cliff Harris, and her brothers Jack and David Renfrow also preceded her in death.
For many years, Mom shared her talents and gifts with family, church and community. She sewed most of her daughters' clothes including formal gowns and incredible costumes for parades, Halloween and drama productions. We will all remember the love she stitched into those amazing quilts, blankets and clothing for her grandchildren, and some of those items are still being used today by her great-grandchildren. When St. Paul's church asked for baked goods, she was ready and willing to produce her famous mile-high lemon meringue pies. Mom's passion for service was evident in her dedication to the Catholic Daughters of America. In 1998 she was honored to be named the Idaho State Catholic Daughter of the Year. While volunteering in the gift shop at Mercy Hospital, she was teased about being her "own best customer."
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Monday, August 29, 2016 at Saint Paul's Catholic Church, 510 W Roosevelt, Nampa ID at 11:00 AM with burial to follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Saint Paul's Catholic Church Building Fund (1515 8th St. S, Nampa ID 83651) for the new hall and school, or to a charity of your choosing in Lydia's name. Arrangements are under the directions of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel. An online guestbook is available at

Funeral Home
Nampa Funeral Home Yraguen Chapel
415 12th Avenue South
Nampa, ID 83651
(208) 442-8171
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Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Aug. 24, 2016