Merle C. Sprague (1929-2021) of Roscoe: farmer, trucker, Legionnaire


Merle C. Sprague, 92, of Roscoe, IL died Tuesday December 28, 2021 in his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born October 10, 1929 in Rockford, the son of Elmer and Inez Sprague. He graduated from Hononegah High School class of 1947. Merle was a veteran of the Korean War, serving in the U. S. Air Force from 1950-1954. He married the love of his life Mary Lou Raehl in Durand, IL on August 13, 1966. 

Merle proudly worked as a self employed farmer. He also owned and operated Merle Sprague Trucking until selling his last grain truck when he was 80 years old. Merle was a former member of the Pleasant View / Rockton Grade School boards, Winnebago County Cattle Feeders Association, Winnebago Pork Producers and Midwest Truckers Association where he received many awards for his exemplary driving record. Merle was able to drive from 1944 to January 2021 without ever receiving a moving violation. 

Merle was a 68 year continuous member of Walter Graham Post 332 American Legion where he served as Post Commander from 1957-1958 and also a proud member of the Rifle Squad. Merle was a lifetime member in good standing of the 40 & 8 for 62 years. After selling his grain truck, Merle enjoyed driving around the county to his three farms and he was always stopping to visit with friends at the local coffee shops, their houses, care centers and hospitals. In Merle's 92 years, he never met a stranger. Merle became an incredible animal and nature lover and would watch the beauty of both as often as possible.

Survivors include wife Mary Lou Sprague; son William (Sara) Sprague; granddaughters Becca (Ryan Barker) Sprague and Katy (Avery Krahn) Sprague; great grandson Owen; grand-dog and little buddy Murry, four nieces, and extended family member and great friend Anna. He was predeceased by his parents, brother Owen Sprague and best friend John Bates.

Special acknowledgement to Harlem Roscoe Fire Department for safe transport, Beloit Hospital Intermediate Care Unit and also Serenity Hospice.

A funeral ceremony will be held at 10:00 am Monday January 3, 2022 in McCorkle Funeral Home - Rockton Chapel 767 N. Blackhawk Blvd. Rockton, IL. Burial will be in Roscoe Township Cemetery. A visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Sunday.

Memorials may be given to VETS Roll.

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