On Thursday June 11th, one of Galveston’s most colorful characters departed this world for his final dive. Delbert D. Sprague died from an incapacitating illness, but his sea stories and adventures that touched so many people’s lives will live on. Born 25 August, 1925 in Tacoma, Washington to Mildred and Delbert Sprague, Del quit high school at the age of 17 to enlist in the US Navy to fight in World War II. He qualified for submarines and conducted five war patrols to the Sea of Japan in USS Pollack. He remained in the Navy after the war, fought in the Korean War, trained in Nuclear Power and was commissioned a Chief Warrant Officer. Retiring after 23 years of service, he made his way to Galveston serving as the Electrical Officer in NS Savanah and Texas Clipper. He also served as the State Commander of the US Submarine Veterans of World War II for both Texas and Georgia. When the Galveston Historical Foundation began renovation of the barque Elissa, Del volunteered and provided unending support and experience as their Chief Engineer. He was preceded in death by his second wife, Alice Weiser, and is survived by his first wife Irene Ann Lamansky, daughter Linda, sons, Tom and Tim, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Del’s family will receive visitors beginning at 1:00 pm, Saturday, June 20th, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home. A memorial service will begin at 1:30 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please make any donations in memory of Del Sprague to Galveston Historical Foundation, supporting the Elissa.