Family and friends are honouring the life of long-time Red Deer resident Ken Sproule who made his mark on the city through ample community service and superior customer service as pharmacist and owner of Sproule’s Mountview IDA Drugs.
Sproule, 83, died on Wednesday and left behind his wife of 58 years Maria, one son, two daughters, seven grandchildren and many extended family members.
Born in Camrose, Sproule was raised and schooled in Red Deer before graduating from University of Alberta with a pharmacy degree in 1957.
Red Deer historian Michael Dawe, who lived down the alley from the Sproule family, said Sproule was genuinely interested in the community and the people around him.
“(Sproule) was just very, very well known in the community and did a tremendous amount of community work,” said Dawe on Friday.
Most recently Sproule was inducted into the Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School Hall of Fame in 2010 and Dawe said that commendation meant a lot to the Red Deer pharmacist who owned his drug store for over 40 years while actively volunteering.
Through the years Sproule was involved with the Red Deer Rotary Club, Kinsmen/K-40 Clubs, Gaetz Memorial United Church, Red Deer Golf & Country Club, Red Deer Shriners Club, Red Deer Economic Development Board, Westerner Exposition, and the Red Deer Hospital. He served on several boards.
Sproule was on the hospital board and worked to get the regional hospital built in the late 1970s and was among officials who welcomed Queen Elizabeth II who officially opened the facility’s new pediatric ward in 1990.
A photo of the Queen taken at the event hung on the wall in his pharmacy.
Sproule received the national Bowl of Hygea Award in 1990 for outstanding community service in pharmacy and was a director for Northwest Drug Company for 23 years.
Sproule’s son Greg said his father took great pride in getting to know his many customers.
“The store had 5,000 families who were part of his business. He took great pride in creating personal service,” Greg said.
Sproule’s daughter Lorinda Belzberg said many people will also remember her father’s passion for golf. He won “dozens and dozens and dozens of trophies” through the years and was chairman of long running tournaments to raise money for organizations including for Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta.
“There’s a lot of lore about some of the fun and excitement and competition he had on the golf course,” Lorinda said.
She said he also loved good jazz and played alto saxophone to earn money to pay his way through university.
Sproule’s memorial service will be held on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at Gaetz Memorial United Church, 4758 Ross St.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent directly to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.