Richard Wilder Sprague, 85, retired senior vice president of Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (BAR), died peacefully on July 5, 2014, in Malvern, Pa.
Born January 21, 1929 in Rockland, Maine, Sprague grew up on nearby Islesboro. After graduating from Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine, in 1946, he entered the University of Maine as a journalism student. He was recognized for his talent in photography and won an Associated Press award for photo journalism.
After graduating in 1950, Sprague worked at the Bangor Evening Commercial newspaper, until joining the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. Following his honorable discharge, he joined BAR in 1952 as assistant director-news bureau. In 1970, Sprague moved to the railroad’s headquarters in Bangor where he was promoted to vice president public relations. He subsequently was named vice president personnel and public relations in 1981 and senior vice president in 1988.
During his 39-year career, he started the company magazine, The Maine Line, which received several national and international awards for excellence. After retiring, he wrote and published a collection of his best works, The Past is a Different Place, which mirrors his love of Aroostook County and the BAR people.