Glendon Preston Sprague, age 90, of Ellsworth, passed away on Aug. 11, 2019, at his home, Seaport Village, where he was surrounded by the ongoing love and support of his family and the compassionate care of the assisted living staff. Glen, fondly known as Papa, was born on July 20, 1929, eldest son of Perley U. Sprague and Edna (Billings) Sprague.
He grew up in Ellsworth and graduated from Ellsworth High School in the Class of 1947, where, according to almost every entry in his yearbook, he was never far apart from his high school (some say grammar school) sweetheart, Mary Frances Patten. In 2017, Glen proudly attended the 70th reunion of that class!
Following graduation, Glen joined the United States Navy and served as a radioman at the Naval Air Station Key West, Fla., until his honorable discharge Jan. 30, 1950. When asked about what life was like in the Navy, most of his memories had very little to do with the Navy, and a lot to do about the great fishing in the Keys.
Dressed in his Navy white uniform, Glen married Mary Frances on July 27, 1949. They celebrated 62 years of marriage until her passing in 2011. Glen and Mary raised their family of three (Julie, Richard and Janis) in Ellsworth. Glen followed a career path that led him to a variety of jobs including meat cutter, store clerk, oil burner installation and repair, real estate sales and office manager until his retirement. During his retirement years Glen and Mary kept busy traveling, which included bus trips to Nashville, Branson and Myrtle Beach, to name a few of their favorite destinations. They also followed almost every sporting event and extracurricular activity of their seven grandchildren. At these events, they were sometimes required to split their loyalty between their alma mater and rivals MDI Trojans — and always did it with pride in their “grands.”
The work of Anah Shrine was extremely important to Glen. His Masonic affiliations include 67 years of membership in Lygonia Lodge No. 40 AF&AM, York and Scottish Rite Bodies. His enrollment in Anah is recorded as June 18, 1977. Shortly after his enrollment in Anah, he joined the Clown Unit. He spent a few years developing his clown persona, learning make-up and perfecting his wardrobe of clown costumes. His clown name transformed from “Balloon Nose” to “Papa the Clown” and finally Papa Clown. You could hear his grandchildren yelling on many parade routes “There’s Papa Clown!”
Glen was predeceased by his loving wife of 62 years, Mary Frances, his parents, and sister Lois Preble. He is survived by his brother, Lester Sprague, and wife, Harriet, sister-in-law Laureen Leland and husband, Robert, daughter, Julie Grindle, and husband, Roger, son Richard Sprague and wife, Rochelle, and daughter Janis Frost and husband, Tom. He is also survived by “The Grands,” Shayna Nickerson and husband, Michael, Shawn Grindle and wife, Josslyn, Aaron Sprague and partner Karen Roper, Ashlee Robinson and husband, David, Joshua Frost and wife, Susan, Timothy Frost and wife, Amanda, and Travis Frost and wife, Lacie. “The Greats”: Lucy, Abigayle, Eleanor, Avery, Sadie, Elizabeth, Emma, Hannah, Noah, Ian, Isabella and Owen. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their deep appreciation to Dr. Lucille Poulin, Sherrie Downing, P.A. and two very special assisted living staff at Seaport Village, Joanne and Cheryl. These wonderful people helped us ease our dad toward his reunion with his beloved wife.
A Masonic memorial service will be held at Lygonia Lodge No. 40, 21 Carriage Way, Ellsworth, on Aug. 24, 2019, at 5 p.m. Guests are invited to stay after the service for light refreshments and to share a story or two. Burial will be at Woodbine Cemetery beside Mom at a date to be decided by the family. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Glen’s name to Shriners Hospital for Children, c/o Anah Shrine, 1404 Broadway, Bangor, or to the Ellsworth Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Home, Ellsworth.