OBITUARY

William LeDale Sprick

January 26, 1930June 3, 2019

William "Bill" Ledale Sprick, surrounded by his loving family, calmly embraced his eternal rest at his home in Peoria, Illinois, on the June 3, 2019. He was 89 years old. A longtime resident of Peoria, William “Bill” Sprick was born on January 26, 1930, in Tekamah, Burt Co., NE. He was the only son, and the second child, of the Wilhelm Gustav Sprick and Emma Ruth Eriksen. Bill Sprick grew up on the family farm near the small town of Herman, in Washington Co., NE. Like many of his peers, he was born during the Great Depression and spent his early teens during the trying times of the Second World War. He grew up with the modest comforts provided by the blessings of the small family farm in Eastern Nebraska, situated as it is, near the beautiful bluff overlooking the wide Missouri River Valley. He came of age in the company of his older sister, Darline, and a community of close friends and many mischievous cousins … each of whom remained very dear to him despite the distances that eventually came to separate them. When Bill was sixteen years old, he moved with this family into the nearby town of Fremont, NE. Bill Sprick graduated from Fremont High School, and then attended Midland College for two years. He transferred to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he received his degree in Agricultural Engineering in 1952. He was a member of the honorary Engineering Fraternity, Sigma Tau. While completing his studies, Bill proudly served in the Nebraska National Guard in a Combat Engineering Battalion. Upon graduation, Bill Sprick accepted his career position with the Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria, Illinois. Soon after his arrival to Peoria, the skinny blonde kid from Nebraska -- the one with the wire-rimmed glasses and ear-to-ear smile – found himself presented with an even greater opportunity upon his introduction to Barbara, who would soon become his wife, partner, friend, and soul-mate, and lifetime love. They would steadfastly remain at the center of each other’s hearts for the remainder of their days. As it happened, then; William L. Sprick married on February 27, 1954, at the First United Methodist Church in Peoria, IL, to Barbara Rue Armstrong, of Menard Co., IL. She was the daughter of Cyrus Elijah Armstrong and Ruth Rue Bell. Barbara‘s large extended family readily embraced their new brother-in-law/ son-in-law, and Bill gladly rejoiced in his newly expanded family, which soon became an important part of their lives together. Soon after their marriage, Bill was drafted into service with the US Army. He served as a specialist at the Aberdeen “Proving Grounds” near Havre de Grace, in Maryland, where his first son, William Douglas, was born. After his military service, Bill returned with his young wife and infant child to Peoria, Illinois, where he resumed his job at Caterpillar. Within a few short years the couple had another son, Gary Lee, and soon thereafter welcomed their daughter, Nancy Ruth. The family would come to share the loving companionship of several adoring pets, including “Snoopy,” the miraculous “wonder-dog” who faithfully remained at the family’s side until his little body could do no more. William Sprick had a long and distinguished career at Caterpillar Tractor Company. He served as a supervisory design and development project engineer with Caterpillar’s Engine Division in Mossville, Illinois. During his tenure, he made significant contributions to many important projects, including the vastly successful 3200 Series (which included the 3208) Diesel Truck Engines. Additionally, he worked for many years in Caterpillar’s Marine Engine Division. He loved the unique challenges presented to him as “trouble-shooter,” tasked to understand and manage the various difficulties, complexities, and uniquely “site-specific” demands associated with individual marine engine installations. These duties required extensive travel to all parts of the United States and later to Japan, as well. In 1992, after more than 40 years of service, Bill retired from his role as Supervisor of Engineering at Caterpillar. Following his retirement from Caterpillar, Barb and Bill travelled extensively, and enjoyed the opportunity to spend more time with family and friends. In 1996, Bill and Barb left Peoria and resettled in Tampa, Florida, in order to be nearer to two of their children. They quickly adapted to the Florida life, where they displayed a keen appetite for the richness of the social, cultural, and historical heritage of their new “Sunshine” home. Bill enthusiastically provided his time to the “Nature’s Classroom,” an educational program developed by the Hillsborough County, Florida, Public School System which served many urban and suburban elementary school children from across a wide area of the Tampa Bay region. He served actively on the Board of his Condo Association. Together, Bill and Barb found many new friends during their years in Tampa. After returning permanently to Peoria in 2006, they continued to enjoy frequent return visits to their one-time Florida home. Upon their return to Peoria in 2006, Bill and Barb were welcomed by many long-time acquaintances and extended family. Always together, Bill and Barb loved nothing more than to share an afternoon, evening dinner, or movie with friends or family. William “Bill” Sprick held a lifetime core desire to be helpful to others. Especially in his retirement, Bill was freely generous with his time. For many years, he transported young patients and their families from their homes in and around Peoria to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospitals in Chicago, Illinois, and Cincinnati, Ohio, typically having made the long round-trip in a single day. He felt honored to have had the opportunity to provide “one-on-one” tutoring in the subjects of math and other core curricula to many individual elementary and high school students in Peoria. Bill Sprick was a religious man who kept a quiet, private relationship with his Creator. He was an active supporting member of University Avenue Methodist Church in Peoria, where he long served as the Chairman of the “Committee for Building and Grounds.” Over the years, he contributed significantly (sometimes, personally) to a series of critically important structural and maintenance issues; and he oversaw several signature architectural additions, and other enduring physical and aesthetic improvements, all of which have served to the lasting benefit of this beloved house of worship. William L. Sprick was a 32nd degree Mason. He was a long-time member of the Grand View Lodge No. 1112, an enthusiastic member of “the Fun Makers” Shrine Clown group, and a member of the Mohammed Shrine Temple in Peoria, Illinois. Bill Sprick diligently served for 16 years on the Peoria Zoning Board. He was Chairman of the Peoria Chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and was on that organization’s International Board of Directors. He was also a member of the Peoria Chapter of the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers. Bill Sprick proudly regarded himself as a “farmer,” and he held a deep and heart-felt attachment to the family place in Washington Co., NE. Through his diligent attention, and with the indispensable assistance and expertise of his trusted friends and associates in Nebraska, he continued to actively and successfully manage the family farm. The family of William Sprick wishes to express its deep gratitude to the many trusted friends in our Nebraska ”family” who helped Bill keep the farm beautiful, healthy, and productive. Bill Sprick was an unpretentious man in both manner and dress. He was quietly confident in his own person. A wide smile was his most natural facial expression, although he could (on occasion) be quite stubborn, and (less often) even cantankerous. In all cases, he was quick to forgive, and was easily forgiven. William Sprick was a kind, sincere, and compassionate man. Those of us who had the privilege of knowing him can quickly recall his “positive” and friendly manner. He was helpful, cheerful, and fun-loving. He appreciated the value of a “good story, well told,” and was delighted by a good joke. He was a energetic participant in any intellectual or political discussion, and was always willing to acknowledge a well-reasoned argument. But mostly, Bill Sprick loved his family. He loved to laugh. He was of a man of happy demeanor…and he was dearly loved. He had a sincere and ready openness to people, wherever he might encounter them. Additionally, he was an enthusiastic and supernaturally energetic man, whose ready eagerness brought him through many fantastic adventures, and presented him the opportunity to meet many wonderful and inspiring people. Over the course of his life, Bill had come to enjoy the company of countless close friends and respected colleagues; and it is our sincere belief that, given the opportunity, he would now eagerly extend his hand to each of those he had come to know in a show of friendship, respect and gratitude. His survivors are grateful to have shared in the amazing life of William L. Sprick – he was a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, colleague, advisor, co-dreamer, and confidant. His absence will be deeply felt. We are comforted by faith that he has returned to the loving and miraculous place whence he came, and that he dwells -- now and forever -- in the House of the loving and merciful Lord, the God of Abraham, and the Father of Our Savior, Jesus Christ.

It remains to us, as our solemn duty, to sustain Bill’s memory by emulating his virtues.

William L. Sprick was preceded in death by both parents, by his sister, Darline Rachael (Sprick) Janzen, last of Grand Island, Nebraska, by many beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as a long succession of beloved pet companions who worshipped (naturally) the ground upon which he walked. William is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Barbara (Armstrong) Sprick of Peoria; his three children: William Douglas (Diane) Sprick of Evansville, IN; Gary L. Sprick and his spouse, Aaron Greaser, of Tampa, FL; their daughter Nancy (Richard) Daniel of Tampa, FL; a granddaughter, Caitlyn (Logan) Keck of Indianapolis, IN; a grandson, Conor Sprick of Davenport, IA; and their great-granddaughter, Oaklyn Ann Keck. Also surviving are many cherished members of his large extended family located across the country. The visitation is planned for Friday, June 21st, from the hours of 5 to 8 pm, at Davison-Fulton Woolsey-Wilton Funeral Home in Peoria, Illinois. There will also be a short visitation beginning at 10 am on June 22, at the University Avenue United Methodist Church, in Peoria, Illinois, followed by the 11:00 am funeral service, officiated by the Rev. Paul Arnold. Interment will follow at Swan Lake Cemetery in Peoria. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests any memorial gifts please be made to the University United Methodist Church of Peoria, to the Shriners’ Hospitals, or the charity of your choice. The family of William L. Sprick would like to express our deepest appreciation to the many wonderful people at Proctor Place and “Shepherd’s Way” for the loving care our father received through their gentle hands and kind words.

  • FAMILY

  • Wilhelm Gustav Sprick, Father
  • Emma Ruth Eriksen, Mother
  • Barbara Rue Armstrong Sprick, Wife
  • Darline Rachael Janzen, Sister
  • William Douglas (Diane) Sprick, Son
  • Gary Lee Sprick and Aaron Greaser, Son
  • Nancy Ruth Sprick (Richard) Daniel, Daughter
  • Caitlyn Jo Ann (Logan) Keck, Granddaughter
  • Conor Gary Lee Sprick, Grandson
  • Oaklyn Ann Keck, Great Granddaughter

Services

21 June

Visitation

5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Davison-Fulton Woolsey Wilton Funeral Home

2408 W. Willow Knolls Road
Peoria, Illinois

22 June

Visitation prior to Funeral

10:00 am - 11:00 am

University United Methodist Church

2818 N. University Street
Peoria, Illinois

22 June

Funeral Service

11:00 am

University United Methodist Church

2818 N University Street
Peoria, Illinois

22 June

Burial

Swan Lake Memory Gardens


Peoria, Illinois

Memories

William LeDale Sprick

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY