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James "Jimmy" Clinton Sprague
May 2, 1946 ~ July 14, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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James Clinton Sprague was born in Astoria, OR on May 2, 1946, and died July 14, 2023. He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Diana Frutos Sprague, as well as five stepsons: DeRew (Shearon), Dave, Darin, Doug (Kate), and Damon (Brooke); six grandchildren and one great grandson. Jim is also survived by two brothers, John and Dan Sprague, and a sister, Karen Sprague Forster. Jim's first wife, Dusty Olive, died in 1989.
After finishing his schooling in Adak, Alask, Jim was drafted into the 339th Enginering Battalion of the U.S. Army in 1968. Over the next four years, he completed two tours of duty serving in a variety of roles, from construction machine operator (building runways and bridges) to demolition expert (blowing up runways and bridges). While in Vietnam, Jim was exposed to Agent Orange, which led to serious life-long health challenges.
After his miliary service, Jim used many of the skills he had learned in the military to develop a successful career in construction, first at construction companies VEMO and The Lode, later as an independent contractor. He had the rare talent that enabled him to build and/or fix almost anything. He built the beautiful A-Frame log home and outbuildings in Gig Harbor, using lumber cut from the property, as well as a cabin on the John Day River near Astoria. As his extended circle of friends and family soon learned, he could diagnose and repair almost any problem, whether mechanical or structural, and he was quick to respond to requests for help, from fixing a leak to getting a motorcycle running again.
Jim and Diana loved to travel, and they had many adventures in Europe: Russia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, England. Closer to home, they traveled to Alaska, and rode their Harley on many trips around the Northwest and across the United States. Everywhere they went, they made new friends.
Jim adored the grandchildren, some who called him Bacca. He introduced them to boating, fishing, shrimping, and crabbing. His dog buddy, Rusty, was his constant companion.
Jim was an avid hunter and fisherman. Every fall, he and his buddies hunted deer and elk, and year-round he and Diana were out on the boat fishing, crabbing, shrimping, or just cruising. Their freezer was always packed with fish and meat, which they shared generously with their many friends.
Jim died doing what he loved best - in his boat, out on the water with Diana, setting crab pots. He is sorely missed by all those who knew and loved him.
The "Celebration of Life" for James Clinton "Jimmy" Sprague will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2023, from 1 o'clock to 4 o'clock p.m. at Sehmel Homestead Park, located at 10123 78th Avenue NW, Gig Harbor, Washington, 98332.