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St. John Educator Julius E. Sprauve Jr. Dies at 69

July 1, 2004 – Residents on Thursday mourned the death of Julius E. Sprauve Jr., a retired educator who served as a teacher and then principal at the St. John school named after his father, former Sen. Julius E. Sprauve.
Sprauve, 69, died unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon at Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center.
"He made a real difference in my life," St. John Administrator Julien Harley said, explaining that Sprauve was his mathematics teacher at Sprauve School.
Harley said Sprauve was a real disciplinarian, but that everybody liked him. And, he said, Sprauve was community minded and could talk on any topic.
Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd also was one of Sprauve's students. "We were afraid of him," Liburd said, laughing as he recalled how Sprauve maintained discipline with his silence.
However, Liburd said, once school was out, Sprauve was a friend.
Liburd and fellow St. John resident Austin Dalmida visited Sprauve at the community health center just hours before he died. The three of them were joking about the Yankees and Red Socks game coming up Tuesday night. "He was a big Yankees fan," Liburd recalled.
Liburd said as he and Dalmida were leaving, Sprauve said he felt dizzy.
Sprauve graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School in the illustrious Class of 1952 whose members also included retired Territorial Court Judge Verne Hodge, former Senator Elmo D. Roebuck and Gov. Charles W. Turnbull.
Turnbull said in a Government House release that Sprauve left a legacy of outstanding commitment and dedication. And, the governor said, he was a sports enthusiast who was quick to promote St. John athletes.
Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone said that Sprauve's contribution was beyond measure.
St. John resident Doris Jadan recalled teaching with Sprauve nearly 50 years ago at Bethany School. They then taught at Sprauve School after it opened at the end of 1955.
"He spoke little and taught well," Jadan said.
Sprauve leaves behind his wife of 49 years, Rita Samuel Sprauve; sons Percy and Dr. Wilbur A.; and an adopted daughter, Daphne Thomas Sanders. He also is survived by his brothers Kenneth, Vernon, Elroy and Liston Sprauve; three sisters, Joan Ricci, Idalia Varlack and Jean Gibbs; two grandsons, three great-grandchildren and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. July 9 at Nazareth Lutheran Church.
A viewing will be held on St. Thomas from 5 to 7 p.m. July 8 at John Thomas Memorial Chapel in Contant. On St. John, there will be a viewing from 9:30 to 11 a.m. July 9 at the church. Burial will be in Cruz Bay Cemetery.

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