Welland Sprague
1924 - 2016
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Welland "Walt" W. Sprague


Age 91, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Friday, March 18, 2016. He was born on August 28, 1924 in Detroit the son of Welland and Ada (McClay) Sprague. Walt attended the Edison Institute of Technology in Detroit, N.Y.U. during the war years and Michigan State University after the war. He served in the U.S. Army 104th Inf. Division during WW II, he was captured in Holland on Halloween 1944, and he escaped a German P.O.W camp six months later. Upon returning home he started Danby Manufacturing along with his father, later the business was moved into Portland and renamed Portland Products. Walt was a member of the Portland Kiwanis Club, Civic Club, Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Society and the REO Club of America. He was the Chairman of the Board at Maynard Allen State Bank and a Board Member of F.M.B. Bank. He was a classic car enthusiast as well as a collector and a member of the Portland Playboys, he enjoyed boating, estate sales and bargain hunting.

Walt was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Margaret "Peg"; an infant daughter; grandson, Shayne Baker; great grandson, Wayland Baker; special friend, Bille Armstrong. Surviving are his children David (Roberta) Sprague and Susan (Terry) Dingler; grandchildren Brian Sprague, Chris Baker, Josh Baker, Ben Baker, Shayna Baker, Tasha Dingler, and Dusty Dingler; great grandchildren Jesse and Sam Baker; Isaac, Raina and Madalyn Baker; Haley, Sierra and Jersie Huhn; Bristal McCoy and Susie Schaffer; special friend, Bev Dudeck; cousin, Bill (Mary Kay) Sprague; and their son, Eric.

The Funeral Service will be conducted by Rev. Dr. Marilyn V. Danielson at 11:00 a.m., Monday, March 21, 2016 at the Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge St., Portland. Interment will follow at Portland Cemetery. Military Graveside honors will be provided by the Portland V.F.W. Post #4090. The family will receive friends 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., Sunday at the funeral home. Online condolences may be made at www.lehmanfuneralhomes.com.

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Published in Portland Review & Observer from Mar. 19 to Mar. 27, 2016.
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6 entries
June 24, 2016
I am fortunate to have known Walter Sprague. He was a POW with my neighbor Leonard Martin. They were both in 104th Division "The Timberwolves" - 415th Regiment. Walter was in A Company and Leonard was in B Company. They wee captured in The Netherlands after crossing the Mark River October 31, 1944. They went to Stalag XIB, Stalag 2A and a work camp "Shootsenhausse"(sic). In Teterow.

I was able to stay with Walter in October 2015 and will always treasure that time. Walter Sprague I salute you and thank you!

To the Sprague family please accept my heartfelt condolences.
Peter Stitt
March 27, 2016
I have a lasting memory of the company picnic he put on for his employees many years ago. He brought out his trick model T and gave all the kids a ride. My dad often talked about how generous he was and how well he treated all his employees. I will always remember him walking past our house almost everyday choosing to walk because of a war injury, but always stopping to greet anyone he passed.
Stephan Newcombe
March 21, 2016
Walt was a mans man and very nice to my grandfather Glenn Davis and my Husband Darrell Staines, and our son Darrell II, I have memories of seeing him in the Portland 4th of July parades in his little car that did "tricks"
Michalean Davis Staines
March 19, 2016
Walt, was the kindest, fairest, most honest man I ever worked for. I will miss our annual visits. We had many memories to share of the
"Olden Days" at Danby Mfg..
Dave Greenop
March 19, 2016
Walt was an amazing gentleman and we felt
so lucky to know him!

Ted was honored to be one of the Portland Playboys, and Walt always invited me to join the guys, too, if I happened to be around. Over the years, we both came to think of Walt as a second father. He was wise, kind, generous and forgiving; he was both realistic and optimistic . We learned many life lessons from him and we admired him greatly!

Our sincere condolences to Dave, Sue and the entire Sprague family! We will fondly remember Walt's wisdom, generosity, the twinkle in his eye over a good joke, and his infectious laugh! Rest in peace, Walt!
Ted and Jacquie Graham
March 18, 2016
Walt was a great and helpful friend to me and our community. We'll miss you. Jim Todd
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