Obituary, Robert Leo Spriggs

Robert Leo Spriggs Friday, March 28, 1924 – Thursday, March 9, 2017
Morgantown, WV, formerly of Carpendale–

Robert Leo Spriggs, 92, of Morgantown, formerly of Carpendale, WV, died Thursday, March 9, 2017 at home surrounded by his family.

Born March 28, 1924 in Cumberland, MD, he was the son of the late William Percy Spriggs and Jessie May (Young) Spriggs.

He was also preceded in death by his beloved wife of 67 years, Margaret (Sharps) Spriggs, and a brother, William Spriggs.

Mr. Spriggs was a graduate of Ridgeley High School, where he played on the football team. He enlisted in the service immediately upon graduation.

He was a WWII veteran of the U.S. Navy and served on the U.S.S. Franklin aircraft carrier and the U.S.S. Albemarle. During his time in the service, Mr. Spriggs was promoted to Electrician’s Mate 1st. Class. Serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, he was in 17 battles. U.S.S. Franklin CV-13 was attacked by Japanese bombers on March 19, 1945, resulting in the death of 914 sailors. Mr. Spriggs helped 12 of his fellow crewmen escape the explosions by rapelling down from the bridge of the ship using knotted microphone cables. Immediately, Mr. Spriggs re-boarded by climbing up the antenna of the badly listing ship, and remained to save the ship. The crew of 704 survivors brought the ship back to Brooklyn Shipyard, making it the most decorated ship of WWII.

Mr. Spriggs began his career working steam engines with the Western Maryland Railroad. He retired as a foreman with the Chessie System.

Bob was one of the founders of Carpendale, WV and he had served as a councilman. Never one to be idle, he installed electrical wiring in the Town Hall as well as many of the water and sewer lines in Carpendale.

He belonged to Centre Street United Methodist Church for 66 years. A life member of Gold Star Post #6452, V.F.W., he was an active member. He was a member of the Franklin 704 Club and of the Ridgeley High School Old Farts Club.

In 2016, he was honored by the West Virginia Legislature with an official Legislative Citation. He received a standing ovation in recognition of his service.

Mr. Spriggs’ hobbies included fishing, camping, and watching John Wayne movies. He took pride in making things with his hands, and had an extensive workshop in his basement.

The family would like to thank Nurse Courtney, Nurse Tabitha, and the staff of the Hospice of West Virginia Caring. They would also like to thank the staff of Mon General Hospital, the VA, Wedgewood Family Practice, Care Partners, and Interim HealthCare.

Survivors include his daughter, Sharon Spriggs Stratton, Morgantown; his son, Gary W. Spriggs and wife Tina, Grass Valley, CA; two granddaughters, Molly L. Stratton and Laurie Osborne; and, three great, grandchildren.

Friends will be received at the Upchurch Funeral Home, P.A., 202 Greene Street, Cumberland, on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 from 5-8 PM.

The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 11 AM in the funeral home, with Rev. Ann Atkins, officiating.

Interment will be in M.S.V.C. Rocky Gap, where military honors will be accorded by Post #13 Veterans Honor Guard.

Memorial contributions may be made to Centre Street United Methodist Church, 217 N. Centre Street, Cumberland, MD 21502. Tax deductible donations may also be made to an organization which helps veterans re-acclimate to civilian life, Operation Welcome Home, 452 Mylan Park Lane, Morgantown, WV 26501.

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