AMerican Veteran 10

Mr. Harris Allan Sproles

October 29, 1933 ~ September 7, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old


With a life well-lived, Harris “Allan” Sproles passed peacefully at his home with his family by his side, just a few weeks away from his 90th birthday. Born in San Francisco, California and raised in the nearby agricultural community of Salinas, Allan was the son of Harris B. and Mildred Hall Sproles, and brother of Sally Sproles (Sobattka).

His initial college education was interrupted by two years of military service as part of the Korean War where he proudly served as a medic. Upon his return from service, he continued his education at the University of California, Berkeley where he completed a degree in Business Administration. During this time his curiosity led him to try the emerging sport of rock climbing, where he met his true love, Lilias “Pat” Malone of Dublin, Georgia at one of the climbing spots near campus. He said she was cute AND made great fried chicken. They spent most of their courtship on the trails of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, before getting married in 1957 in a chapel in San Francisco. 

Soon after, Allan and Pat moved to the University of California, Davis where Allan pursued a Master’s degree in Agriculture. This is also where Allan earned his favorite title of “Papa” with the birth of their first daughter, Noelle (McCoy). Allan managed a corporate farm in Southern California for several years, and the young family welcomed their second and third daughters to the team - Leslie (Siddens) and Susie (Slappey), respectively. It was during this time that Allan realized his true passion was education and taught high school for four years in California. The family relocated to Athens, Georgia where Allan earned a doctorate in education at the University of Georgia, and the family welcomed their fourth child, Eric, to the team.

Allan worked as a Professor of Education at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida for almost 30 years. He was known as an outstanding lecturer who provided a fun, engaging classroom environment for everyone. During this time, he was also a very engaged father who volunteered, coached youth sports, and was always his kids’ and their friends’ most supportive cheering section whether that be sports, theater, or just life in general. It was during this time that the honorific Papa transitioned into honorific Pampa as grandkids were welcomed into the family.

Upon retirement in 2000, Allan and Pat moved to a farm near Dexter, Georgia where Pat’s extended Malone family in Laurens County welcomed Allan and Pat, providing a great source of friendship and fellowship for both of them. At their farm in Dexter, Allan and Pat hosted many amazing meals and celebrations for family and friends, provided a great family gathering place for grandkids to run and play, and grew an amazing garden with tomatoes that were next level delicious.

In addition to being a voracious reader, Allan loved traveling and was an avid history buff. He covered the entirety of the Oregon Trail by land (for reasons unknown to anyone but him), thankfully in a car and not a covered wagon. He also loved to impart historical knowledge in conversation. His hospice nurse told the family “He always loved teaching me about new stuff, even as things were winding down for him. And every time, I learned something from him”.

But Allan’s (a.k.a. Papa’s, Pampa’s) true loves were his wife, kids, and grandkids and sharing time with them, individually or collectively, throughout the years. Allan was a self-anointed master of corny dad jokes (some were actually funny), telling stories that improved the more he told them (at least from his perspective), and tearing up the dance floor at weddings (even at 87 years young). He will be remembered and missed with an occasional tear and always with a big smile in the hearts of his beloved Pat, his wife of 66 years, his four kiddos and their spouses, his eleven grandkiddos, and one great grandkiddo.  Papa said his biggest goal in life was to be a great Papa – and he was very successful. A life well-lived indeed.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers make any donation to Rails to Trails, an organization that he knew and loved as it helped get people into the outdoors that gave him so much joy and fulfillment. (

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