American Veteran 01

Ralph Sproston Jr.

April 11, 1922 ~ January 15, 2020 (age 97)

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Ralph George Sproston Jr, of Farmington, NM, formerly of Houston, TX, passed away peacefully on January 15, 2020 at the age of 97.  Ralph was born on April 11, 1922 to parents Ralph George Sproston Sr., and Margaretha Senn Sproston (both deceased); he grew up in South Bend, Indiana and had two younger brothers, Paul Wallace Sproston (who died as an infant) and Robert L. Sproston Sr., who preceded Ralph in death.

Ralph attained both the rank of Quartermaster in the Sea Scouts, and the rank of Eagle in the Boy Scouts.  He remained actively working with the Boy Scouts through the later years of his life.  He joined the Coast Guard in 1940.  On January 29, 1941 he was a radioman on board the USCGC Alexander Hamilton (WPG-34) when she became the first United States military ship torpedoed in the Atlantic.  Twenty -nine of his shipmates were lost in the attack that resulting in her sinking.  Sometime after Ralph's lifeboat capsized in frigid water, he was rescued by local Icelandic fishermen but was reported to his parents as missing in action.  After a time of recovery, he was back on duty in the Coast Guard and finished out the war.  Later, Ralph served again in the Coast Guard during the Korean conflict with the grade of Lieutenant.

Ralph got his electrical engineering degree from the University of Kentucky on June 5, 1953 and then obtained his professional engineering license in 1957.  Most of his professional career was spent working for Shell Oil.

Ralph and Helen Kathleen Irwin were married on Nov 13, 1943, and had one son, Ralph Gregory Sproston (Greg).  Both Kathleen and Greg preceded him in death.  Ralph is survived by a daughter-in-law Laura Sproston Jacques and a granddaughter Katharine Louise Sproston, of Ignacio, Colorado.  He is also survived by his nephew Robert L. Sproston Jr., of Mishawaka, Indiana.  Ralph will be laid to rest in Catlettsburg, Kentucky.

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