On Friday, September 18, 2020, Boyd F. Sprague, Jr., loving husband and mentor, passed away peacefully in his home at age 85.
Boyd was born on February 24, 1935 in Klamath, Oregon. He joined the Army in 1954 and served for twenty years. He began his army career as an Infantry Soldier and became an expert sharpshooter, earning a place on the Army Marksmanship Team. While training with his unit on day, Boyd was inspired by seeing an Army photographer taking photos and was determined to become one himself. He worked relentlessly to get released from his unit to pursue his dream - and his persistence paid off - he was sent to school to learn photography and photo lab operations.
Boyd went on to serve the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a Green Beret, where he deployed to Vietnam and utilized his photography and infantry skills to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance missions. He also spent time on an overseas assignment in Germany.
During his time in Germany, Boyd made friends with a local woodworker and became an apprentice in his woodshop while off duty. He spent every spare time in the woodshop, learning the craft. His commander soon took notice of his skills and asked him to build furniture for the unit barracks and offices. Upon returning to Fort Bragg, having gained a reputation for his wood working, Boyd was assigned as a duty foreman in the post woodshop.
Boyd retired from the Army in 1974 and made Fayetteville his home. He married the love of his life, Susan, on September 15, 1983 and spent thirty-seven wonderful years together.
Boyd was a master of many trades and his civilian career was as varied as his Army one. He was a sharp and dapper businessman who prided himself on honest work and fair prices. He owned several businesses over the years including a woodworking shop called Signatures in Wood, a paint store, an equipment supply company and a restaurant. He also worked as a photographer for a local bank. In addition to his career pursuits, Boyd earned a bachelor's degree in Classical Music and enjoyed playing the harmonica and the guitar.
In 2003, Boyd began teaching a cabinetmaking course for Fayetteville Technical Community College, and in order to provide students the best learning environment, he moved his class to his own workshop where he taught classes for seventeen years. Through the years Boyd and Susan welcomed hundreds of students into their home to learn the art of woodworking. Affectionately known as Mr. B by his students, Boyd had a true passion and talent for teaching and passing his wisdom of woodworking and life.
Boyd loved life and never wasted one minute of it. His legacy will live on through the work of students and his memory will be stamped by the mark of his craftsmanship on the cabinets and furniture he built in businesses and homes throughout the community, and through the photographs he captured.
Boyd was preceded in death by his father, Boyd Sprague, Sr., and his mother Georgianna Sprague.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Sprague, his stepson, Roger Melton, his sister, Roxanna (Roxy) Sprague and his brother, Marc Sprague. He will be laid to rest during a private ceremony at Sandhills Veterans Cemetery, Fort Bragg.
Arrangements by Herring Funeral Care & Cremations.
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