Thursday, November 20, 2014

Former Resident, Businesswoman Carole Sprague Passes At 72

Carole “Fluffy” Sprague, age 72 of York, died Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 in York with her husband and children by her side.  

Many residents of Dorchester still remember Carole as the owner and operator of Conner Garden and Gift Shoppe on main street.  This successful business was truly an attribute to the community until it was destroyed by a fire in the early 1980s.

Carole was born on June 15, 1942 to Hazen and Thelma Smith.  She grew up in Taylor, Neb., in Loup County, and attended beauty school in Lincoln. She moved to Milford, where she had all four of her children. When her youngest was in school, she moved to Dorchester and opened Conner Garden and Gift Shoppe. 

In 1987, she married Jim Sprague and they made their home in Dorchester just west of the Farmers Cooperative elevator.  In 2002, they moved to York, where she resumed her passion of painting and gardening. She took pride in her community and often headed up projects such as planting flower boxes in Dorchester, tending the flower garden at East Hill Park in York, and painting beautiful murals at church.

Carole loved being a part of various church groups, garden club and social coffee groups, and she never said no to going to garage sales or a trip to Hobby Lobby.  Being with family and friends was what brought her the greatest pleasure.

She is survived by her husband Jim of York; her mother, Thelma Hill of York; her children, Brad (Kerry) Conner of McCool Jct., Stacie Conner and friend Chad Becwar of Lincoln, Steve (Angie) Conner of Seward and Nicki (Erik) Rivers of Lincoln; step- children, Kathie Vocasek of Pickrell and Kristine Briese of Lincoln; grandchildren, Mayson Conner and Morgan Conner both of McCool Jct., Andrew (Jennifer) Crees of York and their children  Joel and Brennen, Sierra Crees and her fiancĂ© Kory Einspahr of Lincoln, Brad Ricenbaw of Cordova, Ashton Conner and Dane Conner both of Seward and Lauren Rivers and Hayden Rivers both of Lincoln and step-grandchildren, Amanda Vocasek and Jordan Sprague of Lincoln.

Also surviving is Carole’s sister, Jeanette (Richard) Lewis of Taylor; her brothers, Leland (Dot) Smith of Foster, Mo., David (Susan) Smith of Norfolk and Dan (Lynn) Smith of Council Bluffs, Iowa; nieces, nephews and many other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her father, Hazen Smith; sister, Elaine Harris and granddaughter, Conner Rivers.

Memorial services will be held 2:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church in York with the Reverend Art Phillips officiating. Memorials may be directed to the church or to the family for a bench to be placed at East Hill Park in her honor. No viewing or visitation. Online condolences may be sent to her family at

Metz Mortuary in York is handling arrangements.


  1. so sorry to hear these, brad,stacie, steve and niki, god bless!

  2. She was such a sweet person and will be missed.


Village Dweller checks all reader comments to determine if they are appropriate for print.