Roberta R. Sprain
MADISON/CROSS PLAINS/MIDDLETON-Roberta R. Sprain, age 89, passed away peacefully Monday February 27, 2017, at the Nursing and Rehab Center Oakwood Village Prairie Ridge in east Madison.
Roberta was born on January 28, 1928, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, the second child of Norman N. and Maud (Pond) Rowe. Roberta graduated from West Salem High School in 1946 and studied home economics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. On December 27, 1947, Roberta married her true love, Kenneth Carl Sprain, at the West Salem Presbyterian Church.
Roberta and Ken were married for 59 years. A true creative spirit, Roberta sang in the Madison Symphony Chorus for 38 years. She did extensive solo work at church, weddings and events. An accomplished oil painter, she exhibited at the Steenbock Center as well as local banks and art fairs. She worked at Yost Kessenich’s Fabrics in downtown Madison and managed the Kessenich’s Fabrics store in the Hilldale shopping center for 13 years. She then opened and ran Roberta’s Sewing Basket in Middleton for six years, and finally worked at Vera’s bridals until she retired.
In retirement, Roberta applied her creative skills as the head costume designer for the Madison Savoyards as well as designing costumes for the Madison Opera. Throughout her career and into retirement, Roberta designed and created many wedding and special occasion dresses.
Roberta was active in the Optimist Club supporting Ken in his various leadership roles. In 1991, working with the LaCrosse Club, Roberta and Ken traveled to Dubna, Russia (sister City of Lacrosse, WI), where they installed one of the first Optimist Clubs in Russia. Roberta and Ken traveled extensively, were very involved in their church, and loved their home and huge garden in rural Cross Plains.
Roberta moved to the Pioneer Prairie building of Oakwood Village on the east side of Madison in 2014. At Oakwood, she sang in the church choir, enjoyed participating in the chime choir, the book club, doing tai chi and having lunch with her friends. Roberta was an avid sports fan, cheering on the Badgers, Packers, and Brewers with equal passion. She was a devoted wife and mother who was always there for her family, supporting husband Ken in all his endeavors, and volunteering for scouts and school activities for her children even as she worked full time. She will be remembered as a strong gifted woman who participated fully in life, gave of herself, and went the extra mile to make family and friends feel special.
She is survived by her three children Jeanne Sprain Barto of DeForest, Susan Sprain (James) Lundgren of Houston, and Kenneth Scott (Melanie) Sprain of Sun Prairie; her grandchildren James (Angela) Barto of Edgerton, Josh Sprain of Madison, Clinton (Ashley) Sprain of Madison and Sofia Lundgren of Houston; her great-grandchildren Eva and Aria Sprain of Madison; her sisters Barbara Premo of Madison and Carol (Leif) Marking of Onalaska; and numerous nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband Kenneth Sprain, and her brother Norman Rowe.
Funeral Services will be held at LUTHERAN CHURCH OF THE LIVING CHRIST, 110 Gammon Road, Madison, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2017, with the Reverend Daniel Kowert presiding. A visitation will be held at the church from 9:00a.m. until the time of service on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Memorial Garden Fund at the Lutheran Church of the Living Christ. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com. Gunderson WestFuneral & Cremation Care7435 University Avenue(608)831-6761