Cover photo for Justin Sprague's Obituary
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1980 Justin 2024

Justin Sprague

April 9, 1980 — March 30, 2024

Thedford, NE

Thedford, NE – Justin Sprague age 43 of Thedford, NE passed away March 30, 2024, due to injuries from an auto accident.

Memorial Services will be on Friday, April 5, 2024, at 1:00 PM at the Thomas County Fairgrounds in Thedford, NE. In lieu of flowers an account has been set up at Security First Bank – P O Box 288 – Thedford, NE  69166. Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left at

Justin Jesse Sprague was born on April 9th, 1980, in Alma, Nebraska to Dale and Jane Sprague.   Justin was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and remained a devout member throughout his life. He spent his younger years riding and driving horses with the family and was active in junior rodeos and 4H.  Justin attended Wilcox Public Schools and graduated in 1999.  He high school rodeoed in Nebraska, riding barebacks, saddle broncs, and bulls.

Justin went on to attend Colby Community College where he rodeoed as well. After college, he continued to ride barebacks and was a qualifier for the Mid-States Rodeo Association and Nebraska State Rodeo Association year-end finals several times.

Justin had another passion he picked up along the way, bullfighting. He was voted Bull Fighter of The Year in the Mid-States Rodeo Association 3 times. Whether it was while he was competing, or fighting bulls, Justin met an innumerable amount of friends along the rodeo trail and loved to share stories and memories from those travels.

Justin worked on multiple ranches over the years, where he met lifelong friends and became part of communities that were always close to his heart. Most recently he enjoyed his work at the Upper Loup Natural Resources Department in Thedford, NE.

One of the proudest moments for Justin was when Emmett Dale was born on April 4th, 2011.

Justin never knew a stranger and was happy to visit for hours with anyone he happened to cross paths with.  He loved catching up with an old friend or anyone he had met throughout the years.   Justin had the biggest heart and would go out of his way to help someone out.

Justin’s special friend, Amy, and her daughter, Braylee, were also a special light in his life.

Justin was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Warren & Jayne Sprague, maternal grandparents Jim & Katherine Eliker, and a stepson, Taylor Rowan.

Justin is survived by his son Emmett Sprague, parents Dale & Jane Sprague of Huntley, NE, sister Jill (Kelie) Bates of Kearney, brother James (Megan) Sprague of Tryon, nieces, and nephews Bailey Bates (fiancé Coby Cassidy), Gabriel Bates, Ryder Sprague, & Piper Sprague, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

To order memorial trees in memory of Justin Sprague, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Friday, April 5, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Thomas County Fairgrounds

83861 Hwy 83, Thedford, NE 69166

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