Norma H. Sprague, active in Red Cross

April 16, 1993

Norma Harvey Sprague, a former teacher and Red Cross worker who was active for many years as a member of Episcopal Church and community groups in Harford County, died March 16 of a heart attack at Church Home in Baltimore.

Mrs. Sprague, who was 90, had lived in Forest Hills from the late 1940s until she moved to Church Home a year ago.

She was first active in Christ Episcopal Church, where she served as educational director for the Woman's Auxiliary, and was a delegate to conventions of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

She helped auxiliaries in other parishes start educational programs. One of the founders of the Harford County Episcopal Woman's Auxiliary, she was its president in the 1950s.

Later, she was chairman of the Bishop's Guild at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Abingdon and helped to start its choir.

Mrs. Sprague had been on the Board of the Red Cross in Harford County, chaired its office of volunteers and had been a volunteer at the Kirk Army Hospital.

She had also served as the Harford County Residential Chairman for the United Appeal.

A former president of the County Garden Club, Mrs. Sprague was publicity chairman of the Harford County Flower Mart and the Harford County portion of the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage. She chaired the Harford County Garden Trust, the Garden Club Booth at the Harford Memorial Hospital Fiesta and the Harford County Daffodil Show.

Born in Goldfield, Iowa, the former Norma Cornelia Harvey earned degrees at Iowa State University and New Mexico Western University and did graduate work at the University of California at Los Angeles.

She taught courses on clothing, textile and art at the New Mexico school and also taught at high schools in Iowa and North Dakota.

In addition, she had been a women's residence hall director at the Rochester Institute of Technology before working for the Red Cross Overseas Service in the Far East at the end of World War II.

The many organizations of which Mrs. Sprague was a member included the National Home Economics Association, the Maryland Home Economics Association, the American Overseas Association, which is a Red Cross veterans' group, the National Education Association, the Maryland Historical Society, the Harford County Historical Society, Historic Annapolis and Historic Hampton.

Also, the Steppingstone Museum Association, the Walters Art Gallery, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Peale Museum, the Edwin Booth Theatre, and the American Association of University Women.

She was named a Harford County Living Treasure in 1981 because of her community work.

In 1948, she married George Finley Sprague, who died in 1990.

A memorial service for Mrs. Sprague will be conducted at 1 p.m. today at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Abingdon.

She is survived by a sister, Gladys Bjorklund of Eagle Grove, Iowa; 12 nephews and nieces; 23 grandnephews and grandnieces; and 22 great-grandnephews and great-grandnieces.

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