Edwin Brownlee Spragg

St. George – Edwin B. Spragg died in St. George, Utah on Friday, November 15, 2019. He was born September 30, 1937 to Ivan and Mary Brownlee Spragg in Washington, Pennsylvania. They were wonderful parents, firm in discipline, at the same time allowing Ed to be a boy. His grandmother, Lillian Brownlee, was the first woman of the United States to serve as a Burgess, an event reported in the New York Herald Tribune and The New York Times.

Four Great-uncles were killed at Gettysburg during the Civil War.

Ed served in the 28th Infantry Division, 1960-1964.

He graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in 1959 and earned master’s degrees in history and library science at the University of Pittsburgh.

He was a librarian at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. for 30 years. He was Reference Services Coordinator in the agriculture/life sciences/human ecology library. Initially, he was on the staff of the Cornell Law Library and later administered Cornell’s renowned Entomology (study of insects) Library during the 1980’s. Upon retirement Ed moved to St. George.

He enjoyed hiking, backpacking, running including marathons, music, chess and animals. Among his favorite places were Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains and the 600-mile Blue Ridge Parkway/Skyline Drive. He was sustained throughout his life by Jehovah God’s creation.

Ed deeply regretted having never married.

He was a past president of the Outback Hiking Club of Southern Utah where he earned Ten Star Hiker status.

He was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2005 in Las Vegas. He regarded this as the best decision he ever made. He looks forward to living in a world unmarred by war, disease and poverty.

His sister, Donna, died in 2001.

Interment will take place in Greene County, Pennsylvania.

Arrangements have been facilitated through Spilsbury Mortuary, St. George, UT (435) 673-2454.



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  1. Ed was my cousin, and we corresponded for many years by mail and email.He and I shared many family memories and stories which helped me with my genealogical research. He was a very friendly and kind person, and I am so sad that he was not able to enjoy his passion for hiking these past few years. My husband and I visited Ed about 12 years ago and he took us to Zion National Park, an experience we’ll never forget. Rest in peace now.

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