Aged 92, passed away peacefully on December 24, 2019, after a healthy and happy life. Born January 7, 1927 to Harold and Eva (Warner) Alexander in Montgomery, Michigan the family moved to Michigan Center where they soon welcomed her little brother, Carl.
Phyllis loved all the activities that living on the lake offered and, as the “big-sister” she once took it upon herself to teach Carl to swim – by throwing him off the end of the dock!
She met her future husband, Roy E. Sprague, while in Jr. High School. He would annoy her by waiting at her house for her to return from dates with someone else. But, he won her over and, eventually, those dates were with him.
After her marriage to Roy, on November 27, 1946 (her parent’s wedding anniversary) the lake continued to play a big part in their lives. There were not many weekends that they would not be on the lake. With the help of their friends, they built their home on Center Lake, just down the road from where she grew up. They even built their own raft/pontoon to go through the channels and under the bridges of the chain of lakes, often following the light of the moon to guide them home.
They raised their three children with the same love of the lake and the outdoors. If they were not on the lake they were camping. Beginning with an old army tent camping in northern Michigan and searching for mushrooms or watching Carl race boats, they graduated to a motor home and took annual hunting trips in Wyoming and then to Florida where they stayed for several winters after Roy retired.
From her parents, Phyllis learned that working hard was balanced by playing hard. As a young girl she performed at the Cascades and was a Majorette with MCHS Marching Band. After high school she became a beautician and owned “Phyllis’s Beauty Shop” where she kept up with the actions of her children while doing their teachers’ hair. A woman of action, she golfed, water-skied, snow-skied, went canoeing, and was known to take a ride down a mud-slide or two. She took her kids on adventures to northern Michigan and her grandkids camping at Sugar Loaf Lake. She knitted their baby blankets and bonnets and sewed their clothes all while teaching them, by example, that there is nothing they can’t do with a little hard work.
Phyllis is lovingly survived by her children, Thomas R. Sprague of Jackson, Deborah C. Clark of Michigan Center and Pamela G. Guild of Mishawaka, Indiana; her grandchildren, Melissa Sprague, Todd Sprague, Tonia Cobetto, Stephanie Hooks and Ben Guild; as well as 11 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren and sister-in-law, Elizabeth Alexander. She was preceded in death by her parents, Harold & Eva Alexander; her husband, Roy E. Sprague; brother, Carl E. Alexander; son-in-law, Jim Clark and daughter-in-law, Janet Sprague.
Per her wishes, Phyllis has been cremated. A private family service will be held followed by a Celebration of her Life for family and friends at the Three-Horse Club, 4793 Page Avenue, Michigan Center, on Friday, January 10th at 1:00 pm.
The family sends special thanks to Allegiance Hospice for their wonderful care and to their special nurse, Dan Alexander.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Allegiance Hospice, sent to Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice, One Jackson Square, 4th Floor, Jackson, MI 49201.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Phyllis Eilene (Alexander) Sprague, please visit our floral store.
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