Willard “Bud” H. Sprague

Willard “Bud” H. Sprague

Madison – Willard H. Sprague Jr., age 80 passed away unexpectedly at his home on Monday, April 4, 2016. He was born on August 16, 1935 at Madison General Hospital to Willard H. and Jennie (Gussman) Sprague.

His family moved from McFarland, Wisconsin to Madison in December of 1941. He attended Washington and St. Raphaels Grade School. He then attended Edgewood High School working in the cafeteria or cleaning a classroom for his tuition. After graduation, in 1953 he worked at Bowman Dairy as a retail route salesman.

On October 24, 1953, he met Geraldine “Gerry” Storley on a blind date arranged by a mutual good friend Stanley Triggs. They dated until Gerry went to college in Eau Claire and Willard entered the United States Army in 1955. They rekindled their relationship in 1958. Gerry was then an elementary school teacher and Willard returned to Bowman Dairy. On December 26, 1959 they were married.

Willard joined the Madison Police Department in 1960. He was promoted to Special Investigator, then to sergeant and in 1974 to the rank of lieutenant. While on the Madison Police Department he attended Madison Area Technical College and earned an associate degree in police science. He retired in June of 1989, following 29 years of service. Immediately after retirement, he was hired by Madison Metro as a bus driver. This second career is the one he enjoyed the most. He drove on the school routes for middle school and high school students. He worked there until May of 2013.

Gerry and Willard enjoyed traveling and being able to see 49 out of the 50 states. Together they attended more than 35 elder hostels. In 1999, they drove to Alaska on a trip that lasted five and a half weeks. Willard was a 55-year member of the Hiram Masonic Lodge #50, F&A.M. and the American Legion Post #501.

Willard is survived by his wife of 56 years, Gerry; two children, Lorie (Jeff) Reamer and Mark (Susan) Sprague; two granddaughters, Annalee and Julianne Reamer; and four sisters, Mary (Ronald) Peschl, Katherine (Robert) Geier, Rosalie (Lousie) Moondancer, Barbara (Howard) Bryant. He also is survived by other loving family and numerous friends.

Memorial Masonic Service will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3325 East Washington Avenue, Madison on Friday, April 8, 2016 at 11:00 am with Past Master of Hiram #50 Dean Johnson. A time to gather will be held at the funeral home on Friday from 9:30 am until the time of services. Graveside services with full military honors will be held at Roselawn Memoral Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hiram #50 the Madison Masonic Foundation, 301 Wisconsin Avenue, Madison, WI 53703 or to Bashford United Methodist Church, 329 North Street, Madison, WI 53704.

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3325 East Washington Ave., Madison