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Dr. John Hammitt Sproles


1920 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Dr.  John Hammitt Sproles Obituary
DR. JOHN HAMMITT SPROLES Age 95, of Daleville, Virginia died peacefully on February 19, 2015. John was born February 16, 1920 in Pocahontas, Virginia and was the son of the late Alvah Vernon Sr. and Bertha Hughes Sproles. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Alvah Vernon Sproles Jr. and sister-in-law Blanche Thompson Sproles. John is survived by his loving wife of 31 years, Sharon Giggy Sproles; sister Nancy Sproles Dickerson; step-son, Brian Lee Belling and his wife Lori; step-daughter, Lisa Belling Dequiroz; three nieces, Sonya Sproles Moore, Nancy Dickerson Dexter and her husband Roger, Karen Sproles Emroch and her husband Walter; seven step-grandchildren; three great-nephews; one great-niece and one great-grandniece. In 1932 John graduated from Elkhorn High School, McDowell County West Virginia. He graduated from Bluefield College, in 1937, and then attended the University of Richmond and The Medical College of Virginia where he received his Medical Degree. Upon finishing medical school, John was drafted into the U.S. Army as a Capitan in the Medical Corps. He was stationed in the South Pacific on the island of Tinian to set up aid stations. After Japan surrendered, John served as Regimental Surgeon of the 21st Infantry and commanded the Medical Detachment during the occupation of Japan. He was sent to Hiroshima in the first Army Medical unit to arrive after Japan surrendered and witnessed firsthand some of the effects of the atomic bomb. After 4 years of active duty John was discharged in 1946 but continued in the reserves for 10 years. In 1946 he returned to his home in Pocahontas, Virginia, where he practiced General Medicine in the coal fields as the Company Physician for Pocahontas Fuel Co. In 1954, John returned to the Medical College of Virginia to take a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and was Board Certified. After completion of his residency, he began private practice in Bluefield, West Virginia. In 1964, John moved to Riverside, California and practiced twenty years at The Riverside Medical Clinic. During his medical career, he delivered more than 9,000 babies. John was a member of several medical fraternities, societies, associations, and received many awards by his peers, but these were not what mattered to him. He was known to his patients, colleagues, and nursing staff for his friendly manner, cheerful smile, humorous jokes, modesty, his "whistling" down the halls of the hospital, and for singing, "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" during deliveries. In 1985 he retired and moved back to Virginia. John and Sharon have lived in Daleville for nearly 30 years. He was an active member at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Fincastle, Botetourt Kiwanis Club, and served on the board of the local American Cancer Society. John volunteered for the Red Cross of Roanoke, Meals on Wheels, and LAP. Most of all, he was a humble, kind, compassionate, dedicated physician and friend, a gentle man who loved serving others. A Memorial Service in John's honor will be held at 11:00 AM, Thursday, February 26, 2015 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Fincastle, Virginia. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at The Ministry Center of St. Mark's Church. Flowers will be graciously accepted at Rader Funeral Home, 630 Roanoke Road, Daleville. On-line condolences may be made to the Sproles family at www.rader-funeralhome.com. Rader Funeral Home is proud to serve the Sproles family. Rader Funeral Home, 540-992-1212
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Published in Press-Enterprise on Feb. 24, 2015
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