Friday, July 11, 2014

Richard W. Sprague, 1929-2014

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Richard W. Sprague Richard W. Sprague
Richard Wilder Sprague, 85, retired senior vice president, Bangor & Aroostook Railroad, died July 5, 2014, at Malvern, Pa.

Born Jan. 21, 1929 in Rockland, Me., Sprague grew up on nearby Islesboro. After graduating from Gould Academy, Bethel, Me. in 1946, he entered the University of Maine as a journalism student. He was recognized for his talent in photography and won an Associated Press award for photojournalism.

After graduating in 1950, Sprague worked at the Bangor Evening Commercial newspaper, until joining the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. Following his honorable discharge, he joined the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR) in 1952 as assistant director-news bureau at Houlton, Me. In 1970, Sprague moved to the railroad’s headquarters in Bangor, where he was promoted to vice president public relations. He subsequently was named vice president personnel and public relations in 1981 and senior vice president in 1988.

During Sprague’s 39-year career, he started the company magazine, The Maine Line, which received several national and international awards for excellence, including one for the best railroad-produced magazine in the industry. After retiring, he wrote and published a collection of his best works, The Past is a Different Place, which mirrored his love of Aroostook County and the BAR people.