Thomas Howard Price, Jr, a resident of Solivita, Kissimmee, Florida, and retired Foreign Service Officer, passed away peacefully at 1:40am, on March 15, 2019. He was 96 years old. Born in Baltimore, Maryland on June 5, 1922, he was the first of five children of Thomas Howard and Beulah Haile Price of Stockton Farm, Phoenix, Maryland. Three half-sisters followed in the 1940’s.
Mr. Price graduated from Sparks High School in 1939, the Mercersburg Academy in 1940, Dartmouth College in 1943, and the Northwestern Midshipman School in December 1943. At Sparks, he won state-level acclaim in soccer, basketball, track and the equestrian team. At Mercersburg, he was on the varsity soccer and wrestling teams. At Dartmouth, he continued those interests while being a member of Phi Delta Theta and the Dragon Senior Honor Society.
After graduating from the Northwestern Midshipman School, in December 1943, he attended the Navy Anti-Submarine School in Key West Florida. He was then assigned to the USS Wiseman, DE667 as Gunnery Officer, and later as Executive Officer. The ship escorted three convoys, back and forth, from the US to various Mediterranean ports before being converted to a floating power plant, designed to support beach landings in the Pacific. Upon learning of the ship’s capabilities, General MacArthur requested that the Wiseman be assigned to provide electric power to his headquarters and other military installations, when he returned to the Philippines. The Wiseman was the first ship to enter Manila Bay during the liberation in 1945 and proceeded to supply uninterrupted power to the various US military bases for nine months.
After the war, Mr. Price joined the Veterans Administration Manila Regional Office as a Field Examiner, receiving many promotions. He remained with the VA for 40 years, spending the last 19 years as Director of the Manila Regional Office/Attaché for Veterans Affairs, American Embassy until his retirement in January 1988. He spent his entire career in the Philippines except for four short reassignments back to the United States: in 1956, to Chicago, IL, as one of first Computer programmers in the US Government; in 1968 to Washington, DC, appointed by President Johnson to serve as Executive Director of the US Veterans Advisory Commission; in 1974, to Baltimore, MD, to serve as Director of the VA Baltimore Regional Office; and, finally, in 1980, back to Washington, DC, to serve a as member of the Reagan-Bush Transition Team. Mr. Price received numerous awards and decorations for his VA service, including the Philippine Legion of Honor from President Marcos and the Outstanding Achievement Award bestowed by the Administrator of the Veterans Administration.
On November 15, 1945, Mr. Price married Josefina Vazquez Pena of Manila in the Philippines. They had two children and remained devoted to each other for almost 50 years, until her premature death on January 9, 1994. In 1995, he married Anita Desembrana of Oakville, Ontario, Canada until her death on November 22, 2013.
Mr. Price is survived by his brother, Richard and his sisters Ruth Ann “Missy” Yates, Marilyn Willis, Rosemary Hundal and Sandra Willis. He is also survived by his daughter, Pamela and her husband Dexter Dix, of Providence Forge, Virginia, and son, Thomas III and his wife Noelle, of Ellicott City, Maryland; his granddaughter, Jessica, and her husband Robert Garrett, and grandsons, Daniel, Alex, and Patrick Price. Mr. Price’s two brothers, Robert (Rocky) and George as well as his grandson, Thomas IV predeceased him.
In lieu of flowers, please remember Howard with memorial contributions to the Clynmalira Methodist Church, Phoenix, MD.
A Memorial Service will be conducted 1 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2019 at Clynmalira United Methodist Church, 2920 Stockton Road, Phoenix, MD 21131.
Cremation Society of Virginia-Newport News assisted the family with arrangements.