Dering Sprague

Obituary of Dering John Sprague

Dering John Sprague, 84, of Lawrenceville, NJ, a direct descendant of Nathaniel Sylvester Dering, passed away on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at Greenwood House, after a short illness. He died peacefully, with his children at his side.


He was born on September 30, 1935, in Mineola, NY, to Dering Jay and Gertrude Alice Sprague.  In his youth, he was a stamp collector.  Dering also followed the progress of WWII, dropping bombs from the hall staircase onto maps of Europe. 


Dering graduated high school from St. Peters Prep in Jersey City, NJ.  He graduated college with a BA, and then an MBA, from Fordham University’s School of Business. He served in the United States Army as a First Lieutenant.


He worked as a Certified Public Accountant for KPMG and Freeport McMoran, and later specialized in internal auditing.  In the 1980s and 1990s he worked as an auditor for K. Hovnanian, and eventually, Toll Brothers Inc.


As an avid fan of classical music, he collected recordings of Arturo Toscanini.  Dering was also an avid reader, with Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, being among his favorites. 


He was married for 34 years to Maureen Anne Sprague, who passed in 2009, daughter of Arlene and Joseph Miller, of Staten Island.  As a couple in the 1980s, they enjoyed being season ticketholders at the New York Philharmonic, and made a point of sharing the joys of music with their son and daughter. 


He was a member of St. Mary’s Church, Colt’s Neck, NJ, where he served for nearly 30 years on the lector staff.  He also taught as part of a bible study group. 


Dering is survived by his son, Dering Joseph Sprague and his partner Barbara Campbell, and his daughter, Catherine Noëlle Sprague and her husband Matthew Bisanz. He is also survived by his sister, Sharon Ballard Sprague, and numerous nieces and nephews.


Visitation will be held Wednesday, November 6, from 7pm to 9pm at Higgins Funeral Home in Freehold, NJ, with funeral mass on Thursday, November 7, at 11am at The Parish of Saint Mary, Colt’s Neck, NJ, and committal at Brig. Gen. William Doyle Cemetery, Wrightstown, NJ, afterwards.


At the request of the family, donations can be made in his name to The National Multiple Sclerosis Society.