Joan E. Sprague


Joan E. Sprague of Walton passed away Monday, Feb. 8, 2021 at Fox Hospital in Oneonta. She was 95 years young.

Born Aug. 22, 1925 in Belfast, Ireland, she was the daughter of the late Charles and Annie (Davidson) Robinson.

Joan graduated with honors from a high school in Belfast. She also worked for the U.S. Army Airforce in Belfast as a telephone operator. This is where she met James Sprague, who was stationed there as a teletype operator for the U.S. Army. Joan moved to the U.S. in 1949 to be with and marry James Sprague on March 31, 1949. She worked for many years as a telephone operator for the Delaware Telephone Company in Walton. She retired in 1982. She was involved in the Christ Episcopal Church in Walton for many years. Joan enjoyed camping, being a housewife, and talking about Northern Ireland. She had made several trips to her home in Belfast. She is now reunited with James and their friends, “The Chipmunk Hollow” gang where they have been holding a spot for her to play Scat, Pokeno, and drink Ballantine Beer!

Joan is survived by her only child, Brian (Trish) Sprague and granddaughter Ava Sprague. She is also survived by a special niece Patricia Parish and many other nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband James Sprague, who passed on Aug. 28, 2006. She is also predeceased by her parents and sisters, Eileen Margold, Betty Hamilton, and brothers Samuel, Charles, William, Walter, Roy, and Desmond.

A celebration of Joan’s life will be announced at a later date along with a graveside service at Walton Cemetery.   

The Sprague family wishes any memorial contributions to be made to Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley in Joan’s name. Contributions can be made online at or mailed to The Wish House, 832 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Courtney Funeral Home, Walton. To leave a message of peace and comfort for Joan’s family, visit her online tribute at


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