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Obit: The Rev. Edwin H. Sprague

Fri, Jul 1st 2016 04:45 pm

The Rev. Edwin H. Sprague, a retired Presbyterian pastor, died on Friday, June 17, 2016.

Sprague was honorably retired from the Presbytery of Western New York in 2000. He served churches in Pennsylvania and Western New York. He was associate pastor of Hamburg Presbyterian Church, where he spent the majority of his ministry. Sprague was also interim pastor at First Presbyterian, Lewiston; Maryvale Drive Presbyterian, Cheektowaga; and First Presbyterian, East Aurora. From March 1994 to April 1997, he was the interim general presbyter for the Presbytery of Western New York, as well as the moderator of the Presbytery of WNY 1990-91.

Sprague, or Ed, as he preferred to be called, was born in Darby, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Chester High School. He was a graduate of Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, Class of 1959, and Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, Class of 1962.

In his first summer in seminary, Sprague was a student assistant in the Mountain Top Larger Parish, Clearfield, Pennsylvania. He spent the last two years as a weekend assistant at the Prospect Park Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, he accepted a call to be pastor of Juniata Presbyterian Church, Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Sprague was a former member of the Village of Hamburg Recreation Board, Erie County Community College South Campus Citizens Advisory Board, Presbyterian Senior Care Services of Western New York, Journey's End Refugee Services, the Hamburg Historical Society, Hamburg Ministerial Association and Imagine Hamburg.

For 111/2 years, he was a volunteer at Mercy Hospital's information desk. Along with his wife, Sprague delivered Meals on Wheels in Hamburg for more than 14 years. For four years, he was a corner captain for the sale of the "Kids Day" issues of the Buffalo News.

He met his best friend and wife of 57 years, Ginnie, at Chautauqua in the summer of 1955. From the start, they shared an interest in choral singing, and sang together through college and seminary and into their retirement years. Most recently, he was a member of the Orchard Park Chorale, the Community Advent Chorale, and the choir of Orchard Park Presbyterian Church.

Sprague loved spending time with family, especially with his two sons, Jeff and Doug, as well as close friends. He also enjoyed walking, attending philharmonic concerts, reading nonfiction and fiction historical books, and working in the yard. Sprague particularly enjoyed several years of helping his friend deliver donated fresh farm produce to area food pantries and kitchens.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 9, at the Orchard Park Presbyterian Church, 4369 S. Buffalo St., Orchard Park. The family will receive friends from 9:30-10:45 a.m., with the service to follow at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, suggested memorials may be sent to the McGill Library, Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, or Friends of Night People, Buffalo.

Sprague touched many hundreds of lives, and his family is requesting written stories from those whom he impacted for a remembrance book. These can be emailed to [email protected].

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