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Richard Wilder Sprague, a retired senior vice president of the former Bangor and Aroostook Railroad, died July 5 in Malvern, Pa. He was 85.After graduating from Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine, in 1946, Sprague became a journalism student at the University of Maine. He was recognized for his photography talent and won an Associated Press award for photo journalism.In 1950, Sprague worked at the Bangor Evening Commercial newspaper, then joined the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Following an honorable discharge, he joined the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad in 1952 as assistant director of the news bureau in Houlton, Maine.In 1970, Sprague moved to the railroad’s headquarters in Bangor, where he was promoted to vice president of public relations. He later was named vice president of personnel and public relations in 1981, then senior vice president in 1988.During his 39-year career, Sprague started the railroad's magazine, The Maine Line, which received several national and international awards for excellence, including the industry's best magazine.After he retired, Sprague wrote and published "The Past is a Different Place," a collection of works that share his passion for Aroostook County and the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad.
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