Dr. Lois Jane Nixon Sprague earned her heavenly wings and eternal rest on July 14, 2022.
Funeral services will be held 11:00 am Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at the Grand View Funeral Home. Visitation celebrating Lois' life will be held 10:00 am until the time of the service Wednesday at the Grand View Funeral Home.
Burial will be held 10:00 am Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Leavenworth National Cemetery, in Leavenworth, KS.
Dr. Sprague was born in Quincy, Illinois, on June 16, 1937, the oldest of four children born to Lawrence and Lois Agatha Nixon. She married the late Rev. Donald A. Sprague, December 11, 1953, and three daughters were born to this union: Karen, Karry and Dawn. The couple celebrated 61 years of marriage before his passing in 2015.
Dr. Sprague loved academia. After earning her GED in her middle-adult years, she set her sights on higher education. She earned a bachelor's degree in Business from Ottawa University (Kansas), a master's degree in Biblical Counseling and a doctorate’s degree in Ministry, both from Lael College and Graduate School (St. Charles, Missouri).
She served alongside her husband in ministry at churches in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri, including the Eighth & Center Streets Baptist Church in Hannibal, Missouri. While living in Hannibal, she worked as an Emergency Services Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and directed children and adult programs at Douglas Community Center, a non-profit human services organization.
The Spragues moved to Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1974, where the late Rev. Sprague served as Pastor of the First Missionary Baptist Church for more than 30 years. Upon licensing and ordination as a Baptist minister, Dr. Sprague served as Co-Pastor with her husband before retiring in 2005. Together, they conducted numerous revivals at military installations throughout the United States and Germany. They held dear their "sons and daughters in the ministry,” who they trained, ordained and mentored during more than 35 years of pastoring.
While residing in Leavenworth, Dr. Sprague was the longtime Executive Director of Neighborhood House, a United Way agency. She ended her professional career as the Executive Director of the Economic Opportunity Foundation in Kansas City, Kansas, working with low-income families on self-sufficiency.
Through the years, Dr. Sprague was active in community organizations, including the Leavenworth Kiwanis and the Leavenworth County Clergy Association. In addition, she served as a volunteer Chaplain at the Leavenworth Veterans Administration Hospital. The patients recognized her by a sunflower she wore on her lapel. The sunflower would lead to conversations about a plant that appeared in her mind's eye to draw upward toward the heavens. She reminded patients to "look up from whence cometh your help - your help cometh from the Lord." (Psalms 121;1-2)
Dr. Sprague was passionate about ministry to women and led classes and worship services for several years at the Women's Correctional Prison in Lansing, Kansas.
In her later years, she resided in Hannibal, Missouri, with her daughter and son-in-law, Rev. Cedric and Karry Richardson. In addition to Karry, she is survived by Dawn Tripp and her husband Bobby; sister, Lora Jones; grandchildren, Angel Crider, Raefeal Crider, Jr., William Ewing, Jr., Joel Richardson and Allison Ewing; nine great-grandchildren, and a host of beloved nieces, nephews, sister-in-laws and brother-in-laws.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald; daughter, Karen Sprague; parents, Lawrence and Lois Nixon; brothers Lawrence Nixon, Lincoln Nixon and Charles Lee Watson; sister, Georgia Mae Shaw.
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