Martha Childs Sproul died peacefully at her home on June 20, 2020 surrounded by her family. She was born in Princeton, N.J., on Feb. 24, 1933, the daughter of Professor Harwood L. Childs and Willa (Whitson) Childs. She spent her childhood in Princeton and summers in Wilton.
She was class of 1955 at Wellesley College, where she studied history, and spent a year in Brazil when her father was requested by the United Nations to teach at a university. While attending college, she met her husband, L. Edwin Sproul Jr., a Harvard College student, and they married in 1957 while he was attending Harvard Medical School.
Her love of education and children’s literature led her to a short career as a children’s librarian at Boston Public Library and teacher at the Fessenden School in Newton, Mass. before starting a family. In 1963, the family moved to Mystic, Conn., where her husband joined Mystic Medical Group and the staff at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
Together, Martha and Ed established a large network of friends with whom they traveled the world and celebrated special events and holidays.
An avid reader, Martha loved books of every genre and topic. She had an intellectually gifted and curious mind, which gave her a deep appreciation for art, literature, music, and education. She was well read and could converse on any subject. She was a devoted mother, grandmother, and friend.
Later in life, Martha and her husband enlarged a family house on the shore in Pemaquid, where they spent six months each year relaxing, enjoying the ocean views, and welcoming family and friends. Martha was a thoughtful and gracious hostess who orchestrated many lovely parties, dinners, and family suppers.
She was a member of Mystic Congregational Church, Mystic Garden Club, Shennecossett Beach Club, past president of the Southeastern Connecticut Wellesley Club, and former docent and board member of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.
Martha was predeceased by her husband in 2018; and sisters, Elisabeth Childs Rowse Graham and Margaret Childs Armstrong.
She is survived by her children, Elisabeth Sweet and Jeffrey of Sharon, Mass., L. Edwin III and Francine of Groton, Mass., and Jonathan and Jane of Boston, Mass. and Mystic, Conn.; and grandchildren, Nathaniel, Anna, and William Sweet, and Samantha and Morgan Sproul, of whom she was immensely proud.
Her family would like to thank the staff of the Visiting Nurses of Southeastern Connecticut for their compassionate care and guidance.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a memorial service will be held later in the fall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Mystic & Noank Library or Lyman Allyn Art Museum in memory of Martha C. Sproul.