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April 24, 2002 7:25 pm

Thelma Griggs Sprague

Written by Tribune Staff

(Dec. 3, 1919 - Feb. 24, 2010)

Thelma J. Griggs Sprague died Feb. 24, 2010 in Orem, Utah. She was 90.

Thelma was born Dec. 3, 1919 in Powell, the first of four children born to Vera Sessions Griggs and John Samuel Griggs.

She was born on a homestead on the Powell flat. Her earliest years were spent in the Powell area before moving to Chatham, Wyo., where her father worked for Marathon Oil and her mother cooked for the crew.

On Sept. 22, 1938, Thelma married Leonard Sprague in Billings. The couple were proud parents of six children, Bonnie, Cheryl, Charlene, Charles, Douglas and Debra.

Thelma helped her husband, Leonard, operate the business when he established the War Surplus Store in Powell in 1958. She also worked at Gambles and Powell Valley Office Supply. She worked as a receptionist at the War Memorial Hospital in Powell and had fond memories working with friends at Linton's Big R Store until her retirement. Leonard passed away May 11, 1974.

Thelma had a firecracker personality and loved her years volunteering at the Powell Hospital and was proud to be a breast cancer survivor. She looked forward to her “Lunch Bunch” every Tuesday at the Pizza Hut. A gaggle of senior citizens met regularly for years and her attendance was a necessity.

When Thelma's health declined, she lived in the home of her daughter, Debbie (Fred) Newcomer in Evanston, finally moving into Summerfield Retirement Center in Orem, Utah. There she enjoyed a happy, comfortable life, celebrating her 90th birthday in December 2009.

She is survived by her children, Bonnie (Chris) Haas, of Cherokee, Okla.; Cheryl (Charles) Cozzens, of Hiland, Utah; Charlene, of Salt Lake City; Charles (Alice), of Pueblo, Colo.; Douglas (Marie), of Canyon Country, Calif.; and Debra (Fred) Newcomer, of Evanston. She is also survived by her brother, Sam “Bud” and sister-in-law Edna Griggs, of Lake Havasu, Ariz.

Thelma had 18 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren.

Preceding her in death was her husband, Leonard; sister, Florence Nalley; brother, Donald H. Griggs; a son-in-law, Chris Haas; and two great-grandchildren.

Services will be conducted at the Powell LDS Chapel on Avenue E on Saturday, March 6 at 11 a.m. with interment in Crown Hill Cemetery.

A viewing will be held on Friday evening from 7-9 p.m. at the Thompson Funeral Home in Powell, and 30 minutes prior to the Saturday service at the church.

The family asks for memorials to be sent to the Byron Memorial Park in Byron or to Breast Cancer Research.