Gary Robert Sprague

Gary Robert Sprague, of Bigfork, Minn., formerly of West Virginia and Wolf, Minn., died at the age of 65 in Rochester Minn., on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.

He was born to Robert and Shirley (Hietalati) Sprague on Nov. 29, 1955.

Gary grew up in West Virginia/Wolf, Minn. He was a 1974 graduate of Mt. Iron High School, he enjoyed bowling, curling, softball, fishing, cribbage, smear, hunting with boys, crosswords and staying at the Cabin. He was also the proud captain of the pontoon boat at the family cabin, where he lived from the time the ice started to come off the lake, until the last weekend of deer season. His cancer diagnosis in November 2020 put an end to his cabin days.

Gary fought and beat cancer, the specialists at the Mayo Hospital said to him “There’s something to be said about these Iron Range Men, they sure are tough old birds” This made him proud.

Gary is survived by his children: Mary Sprague, of Biwabik, Elizabeth (Damon) Jacobson of Bigfork and Stephanie Knapper (Owen) of Buhl; eight grandchildren: Andrew, Samantha, Julia, Adrien, Chase, Natalie, Christian and Grady; one great-grandchild, Bently; siblings: Jim (Patty) Sprague, Randy (Jill) Sprague, Yvonne (Mike) McDonald, Todd (Lorri) Sprague, Dale (Candy) Sprague; and numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Shirley Sprague.

A special thanks to the mother of his girls, Nancy Battaglia Hertzfeldt; and a special friend Brenda Jones, with her daughters, Corrissa Hansen and Mariah Jones.

Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 17, at Messiah Lutheran Church, with a luncheon following the service.

Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.

His remains will be taken to the family cabin in Bigfork, where the family will have a private gathering.

Arrangements are with Carroll Funeral Home, Deer River & Bigfork, Minnesota.

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