OBITUARIES: Thomas Delaware Price, Elizabeth Ellen Price

Betty and Tom Price.

Thomas Delaware Price
June 8, 1926 – October 7, 2020

Tom was born June 8, 1926 in Illinois and spent his childhood there. After high school, he volunteered in the Army. He served in World War II in the Philippines on the front lines but was briefly sent to the “baby battalion” until he turned 19. He served in the military police during the US occupation of Japan.

Using the G.I. Bill, Tom received his teaching credential at Stanford University, in 1951, and went on to teach 5th grade science, designing a science lab for the school in Palo Alto. His friend suggested he meet a kindergarten teacher, so on their way to the dump, they invited Betty to join them. That day was the beginning of Tom and Betty’s lifelong love affair. They met on Lincoln’s birthday, were engaged on Washington’s birthday, and were married on June 20, 1955. Tom and Betty had a daughter Becky and son Andrew while living in Menlo Park, Calif.

Tom continued teaching while earning a Doctorate in Education in 1966, also from Stanford University. The family moved to North Carolina where he taught at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 1970, Tom and Betty were ready to move back to California, accepting a position at Humboldt State College (now University) in the Education Department. He taught from 1970 to 1995, where he had the pleasure of working with many future elementary school teachers.

Tom loved to use his hands. He remodeled the kitchen of every home they had; made furniture; designed and built gardens; wrote books on gardening and a memoir of his war years.

The family traveled and camped across the United States several times. Tom and Betty went further afield when he was invited to participate in educational conferences in Egypt and Japan. They additionally enjoyed visits to England and China with lifelong friends.

Tom and Betty celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last year. Tom died October 7, 2020 of pneumonia. The family appreciates the support of Tom’s caregivers and Hospice staff during the last months of his life. He was survived by his wife Betty, and his children Becky Price-Hall (Stefan) and Andrew Price (Kathleen), eight grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Donations can be made in Tom’s memory to Hospice of Humboldt.

Elizabeth Ellen Price
March 19, 1932 – April 7, 2021

Betty Price (Elizabeth) was born in Arizona on March 19, 1932 and died at home surrounded by her family on April 7, 2021 following a stroke earlier in the year. 

Betty grew up on an orange ranch in Chatsworth, Calif. She received her teaching credential from San Jose State in the mid-1950s. She taught kindergarten and nursery school from Palo Alto to Durham, North Carolina to the Price Preschool at her home in Bayside. 

Betty met her beloved Tom through a mutual friend in Palo Alto. Their first date was a trip to the dump! Betty told her roommate that same evening that she had met the man she was going to marry. They were engaged a week later and married shortly thereafter in San Diego in 1955. They lived in Menlo Park where daughter Becky and son Andrew were born.

When the family moved to North Carolina, Betty became a consultant for Duke University in the developing field of Early Childhood Education. Wanting to return to California, the family then settled in Arcata where Tom had secured a teaching position at Humboldt State.

As her children grew up, Betty decided to return to her teaching career and opened Price Preschool. 

At her preschool, Betty created an interactive environment where her young students could explore and learn, indoors and out. She had endless enthusiasm for teaching and the patience required to do so, and often kept in touch with students and their family far beyond their nursery school years.

For 40 years Betty nurtured a love of reading, art, and curiosity in young children through teaching. When she retired, she had more time for her garden, spending time with her grandchildren, and quilting. And of course, always reading. 

Betty’s curiosity was life-long. She loved reading, gardening, visiting with friends and family, and supporting the library. But she especially loved her daughter and son, eight grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband Tom. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 2020. Betty is survived by her children Becky and Andrew and their families.

Donations can be made in Betty’s memory by purchasing a gift certificate for the Arcata Library at Northtown Books.


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