Cover photo for David Sprague's Obituary
David Sprague Profile Photo

David Sprague

d. December 20, 2023

William David Sprague

Artist, architect, musician, and good friend to many, David Sprague, 81, passed away peacefully on 20 December 2023, after a valiant fight with Parkinson’s disease, at home with his devoted wife by his side.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, to Rubye Inez Morgan and William Harold Sprague, David took pride in his Choctaw heritage.  His great-great-grandfather, Isaac Washington McClure came to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, over the Trail of Tears, and changed the family name, Felihkatabbee to McClure.  Growing up in Abilene, Texas, David later studied architecture, painting, and sculpture at Texas Tech University. During this period, David also worked for the City of Dallas Planning and Zoning Department, where he met Ida Milazzo. After a whirlwind romance, they married 14 February 1964.  Three years later, David graduated with an architecture degree.  In 1971, he received his architectural license, becoming a principal and partner in three Dallas architecture firms.

David enjoyed a lifelong pursuit of music.  His first gig was playing stand-up bass with The Flames while in high school.  Later, at Texas Tech, David played guitar with The Caravans.  The other guitar player in The Caravans was another architecture student Henry John “Deutsch” Deutschendorf, Jr., better known as John Denver.  When Denver packed up his drawing board, amp and guitar and moved to California, David stayed behind, along with the band’s drummer, fellow architecture student Mike Bartlett.  The two formed the architecture firm, Sprague Bartlett. 

In 1999 David gave up a successful business career to pursue his passion for art. To further develop his skills, David and Ida moved to Taos, New Mexico.  David became a member of the Taos National Society of Watercolorists, serving as President for two years.  Although proficient in other media, David was especially drawn to watercolor because of its spontaneity. Combining his love of architecture with his enthusiasm for watercolor and for the history of the American Southwest, David painted mystical watercolor series exploring motifs including ancient petroglyphs and landscapes. His work was seen in solo and group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the Southwest. His award-winning work is in many collections, both private and corporate.

David was a remarkable listener and a man who was intellectual and generally quiet. He read a lot and preferred one-on-one encounters over large events.

David is survived by his wife, Ida; daughter, Shannon Vondra (Michael); son, Kevin Sprague (Marta); and brother Charles Sprague. 

David’s family would like to thank Dr. Marc Steinburg; Penny Perkins and Hospice of Mountain Home Health Care; the local Parkinson’s Support Group; the dedicated caregivers at Taos Enchanted Village and David’s several loving private caregivers and special friends for their compassion and devotion.

A celebration of David’s life will be held at a later date.

The family of William David Sprague has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home of Taos.  866-657-4019


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