Jerry Forest Sprague, 86, devoted husband, loving father, and doting grandfather and great grandfather, was held by the loving hands of his family, as he peacefully passed away on Monday, March 27, 2023, in Nampa, Idaho, his home for the past 10 years.
Jerry was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to parents Forest William and Frankie Lee (Blount) Sprague, on December 16, 1936. The Sprague family adventured west to California, in 1947, where he met and married the love of his life and soulmate, Patricia Louise McDowell. Jerry and Patricia were married in Downey, California, on June 25, 1955. They were looking forward to celebrating 68 years of marriage this June, even though others said, “It would never last.” From their love, they were blessed with two beautiful daughters, Sharon Patricia, and Debra Lynn.
Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, and older siblings, Billy Merle Sprague (Donna), and Helen Lee Simmons (Vic); in-laws Walter Adison and Opal Katherine (Davis) McDowell; sister-in-law Betty Jean Cockburn (McDowell), and brother-in-law James Henry McDowell. In addition to his life-long love and wife Patricia, and daughters and their spouses, Sharon Tuttle (Brad) of North Pole, Alaska, and Deb Compton (Shane) of Boise, Idaho, Jerry is survived by grandchildren and their spouses Daniel Allen Kistle (Jhienelle) of Whitewater, Wisconsin, Timothy Adam Kistle of Sequim, Washington, Kacie Lee-Katherine Simons (James) of North Pole, Alaska, and Kelly Ann Roberts (Mike) of Fairbanks, Alaska, many great grandchildren; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Prior to his onset of Dementia, Jerry was the hardest working, most intelligent, and kind man. Early in his career, Jerry followed in the footsteps of his dad, becoming a union carpenter working throughout California.
Jerry always put his family first and foremost. Even as the youngest sibling of the Sprague family, Jerry was a natural born leader and patriarch of both the Sprague and McDowell families. With his desire to provide the best for his family, he moved Patricia and the girls to Washington in 1968, followed soon by both sides of the family, leading to many decades of beautiful family memories.
In Washington, Jerry and Patricia started Sprague Construction Company. His foresight, architectural designs and construction were instrumental in the early development of Yelm. Many of his commercial and private dwellings still stand throughout both California and Washington. His hard work and successful business allowed him to retire at the early age of 41, only one year past his goal of retiring at 40.
Never one to be idle, Jerry, in retirement, took on the huge task of a bus conversion, taking the frame of a passenger bus and renovating every single inch of it. Jerry and Patricia traveled the United States in their “mansion on wheels” visiting family, researching genealogy, and creating memories. One of his greatest accomplishments was reuniting his mother with her brother after a poverty-forced adoption 80+ years previously.
In between travels, Jerry owned and operated a successful Century 21 Real Estate office. Always looking for the next adventure, and after a second retirement from real estate, Jerry and Patricia moved to Tucson, Arizona, where Jerry built Patricia’s dream home, developed and operated a Kettle-Corn business, and a made a brief move to Sierra Vista, prior to moving to Nampa, Idaho, to be closer to family.
Even after Jerry’s brilliant mind was robbed from him, his kind and humorous spirit was so strong it could not be totally extinguished and would often break through. Even as the end was near, the family was comforted to know he was able to hear them as they told him he was the best husband, loving father, and best grandpa anyone could ask for and would forever love and remember him, as his spirit would live on through all of them.
The family would like to sincerely thank the doctors, nurses, CNAs, and entire staff of St. Luke’s Nampa for their loving care of Jerry in his final days, and all the accommodations and help they provided them. The family would also like to thank Jerry and Patricia’s friends for their support throughout his illness. As there will be no service at this time, please take a moment to recall a fond memory of Jerry. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a donation in Jerry’s honor, please feel free to do so to Adult Congenital Heart, achaheart.org, or the charity of your choice. Patricia may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We love and miss you already Jerry, dad, and grandpa.