Former Augusta Mayor,
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Legislator, Civic Leader
Stanley E. Sproul
AUGUSTA - Former Augusta Mayor Stanley E. Sproul died on May 13, 2015, at the Maine Veterans Home in Augusta, at the age of 95. Stanley Edwin Sproul was the second son born to Fred Turner Sproul and his wife, Rissa Moore Sproul on March 18, 1920, in the kitchen of the family farm in Windsor, during a blizzard.
Stan attended Erskine school before moving to Augusta and attended Williams school and graduated from Cony High School in 1938.
Stan was a gifted musician having played saxophone and clarinet in the band and performing in Chizzle Wizzle.
He was a starting guard on the basketball team that went to the Eastern Maine Championship game. Stan also played baseball at Cony. Stan proceeded to Northeastern University in Boston, majoring in business for two years and then entered law school there. During his college years, he earned pocket money by selling Good Humor ice cream from his cart around Boston in the summers and playing in stage bands for area dances.
His education was interrupted by World War II when he enlisted in the Navy, training as a naval aviator. He served in the Caribbean watching for U-Boats and later in North Africa and Italy. After the war he completed his law degree and passed the bar exam in 1947. He re-enlisted in the Naval Reserves and was assigned to the Coast Guard during the Korean conflict, doing search and rescue on both sea and air in pontooned PBY's.
In 1946, he married Faye Winter of Chelsea. They were married for 45 years until her death in 1992. In 1996, he married Barbara Walker Jackson who shared his life until her death in 2011.
Stan epitomized "America's greatest generation." Following his military service he worked briefly with his older brother building homes and running a building supply business on Cape Cod. He soon returned to Maine when Republican Gov. Burton Cross handpicked Democrat lawyer Stan Sproul to be director of enforcement of the Maine Liquor Commission to help clean up a major scandal in that agency.
Stan left government employment when his interest turned to entrepreneurial and civic work. His fingerprints remain all over Augusta. He formed Mayfair Corporation in the early 1950s. In the 50s, 60s, and 70s, he developed the Mayfair neighborhood in Augusta's southeast corner. It was then, and remains today, Augusta's largest residential neighborhood. He was instrumental in bringing Little League baseball to Augusta. He wrote and submitted the original charter applications for what was then all three Little Leagues in Augusta – Augusta East LL, Augusta South LL, and Augusta North LL. Stan was a leader in developing the very first LL field in what is now the CARA Complex. He became President of Augusta East Little League and was the first person from Augusta to become District Commissioner of Maine District 5 LL. Stan represented Maine at International Little League Congresses in 1961 in Los Angeles and in 1963 in New York City.
Stan served multiple years as president of the Farrington School PTA, was a charter member and first vice-president of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, president of Augusta Regional Church Housing that developed ARCH Alpha and ARCH Beta housing, president of the Maine Hereford Association. He was an advocate for affordable housing and built the Winterhaven (now Greentree) Apartments in the early 1970s. Stan coached Pee Wee and Church League basketball at the Kennebec Valley YMCA and coached Little League baseball.
He was involved politically starting on the Augusta Zoning Board. In the late 50s, he switched political parties and became active on the Augusta Republican City Committee and the Kennebec County Republican Committee. Stan was twice elected Mayor of Augusta and was chairman of the Augusta Civic Center Building Committee and Chairman of the Capital Area Vocational School Building Committee. He served in the 106th Maine House of Representatives. He twice served as chairman of City of Augusta Charter Commissions. He was a candidate for Governor of Maine in 1974.
Stan often said he hadn't decided what he wanted to be when he grew up. While developing Mayfair, he also owned a sawmill and building supply business. He was awarded a contract and built Navy base housing in Cutler and Winter Harbor in the early 1960s. He also shared in a large cattle feed-lot operation in Presque Isle in the mid '60s with smaller lots in a few other towns in southern Maine. He had a "show string" of Herefords that he took to agricultural fairs, one winning a Grand Championship Award at the Eastern States Exposition. After he sold the building supply business in 1966, he trained as an insurance agent, attaining the Certified Life Underwriter certification very quickly, eventually specializing in estate planning, wills, and trusts. Having started out with Connecticut General (now CIGNA), he later opened a private independent agency in Augusta. Upon attaining retirement age, he sold the insurance agency and became the managing partner in a turn-around venture at a printing company in Belmont. He also owned and harvested timberland around Lobster Lake and Greenville. Finally at age 72, he opened a private law practice which he sold in 2005 at age 85.
Stan was predeceased by his parents; older brother Manley James (Jim) Sproul in 1962; his wife Faye in 1992, his second wife Barbara in 2011.
He is survived by his son the Rev. Edward Sproul and wife Bess of Spencer, Mass.; daughter Cynthia Sproul of Vassalboro, son Roger Sproul of Augusta, son Donald Sproul and wife Kathy of Augusta, and daughter Linda Small of Farmingdale. He is also survived by grandchildren Brian Sproul and wife Tarah of Alto, Mich., Catherine Rhodes and husband Mark of Hopkinton, Mass., Laura Lewis and husband Chris of Augusta, Ryan Gallant and wife Jessica of Augusta, Stephanie Flaherty and husband Tim of Waldoboro, Sarah Nisbet and husband Chris of Rutland, Vt., Lydia Sproul of Goleta, Calif., Rebecca Sproul of Augusta, Jason Fuller and wife Crystal of Augusta, Melanie Lajoie and husband Greg of Augusta, Bethany LeBrun and husband Todd of Waterville, and Adam Small of Valencia, Calif. Stan also leaves 16 great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the staff of the Maine Veterans Home for their care over the past year and MaineGeneral Hospice Care for their assistance during his last weeks.
Visiting hours will be at Knowlton-Hewins Funeral Home, 1 Church St., Augusta, from 4-7 p.m. on Monday, May 18. A service of celebration of Stan's life will be held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 209 Eastern Ave., Augusta, at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 19. Memories, condolences, photos, and videos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of our website at www.khrfuneralhomes.com
In lieu of flowers, the family
requests that contributions
be made to
Capital Area Recreation Association
207 Capitol Street
Augusta, ME 04330
CARA is the organization that maintains and improves Augusta's youth athletic fields along the Piggery Road, including the very first Little League field that Stan was
instrumental in building in 1958.
Knowlton & Hewins Funeral Home
1 Church Street
Augusta, ME 04330
Published in Central Maine from May 15 to May 16, 2015