Saturday night, August 27, 2022, at the age of 89, Ronald Duwayne Price, met his mother.
She died in 1934 when he was 8 months old from complications of strep throat.
Little Ronnie was raised by his father and a stepmother he thought was his mother.
Every evening, young Ronnie waited at the window for his father's car to come home from work. One day when he was 12, he waited, and waited, but it did not return. Tragically, that day his dad perished in a car wreck.
After his father's death, Ronnie was sent to visit his older sister in California. A trunk containing his belongings arrived shortly thereafter. Ronnie was abandoned by the only mother he ever knew.
Orphaned in post WWll, Ron found mischief in Oakland California when rivaling "crews" owned the streets. He realized the path he was on, and how disappointed his father would have been. To escape the streets and build an honorable life, Ron fudged a little on his age and joined the Army National Guard at 15.
When the "problem with his documents" arose, at 17, he enlisted in the Army with his brother's help. However, an insightful recruiter looking for young men with leadership potential encouraged Ron to transfer to the Air Force. For Ron, the military became his family providing discipline, structure, and a set of core values.
At his 2nd station in the UK, Ron met and wed the love of his life, a spunky red haired British beauty, Cordelia Knipe. They had five children. Randy, Debbie and Donna were born in California. Gary and the last, an unexpected surprise blessing dubbed Teddy, debuted in Wisconsin.
While Cordelia was in the maternity ward, Ron wrangled the other four kids feeding them every kid's dream meal~ butter and sugar sandwiches.
Returning to serve again in England, Ron took Delia and the kids castle-hopping every weekend his schedule allowed. He relished the roles of tour guide and historian. On one of these outings on the way to Granny Knipe's, Ron's car hit a pheasant. He felt so bad about killing the bird, he asked Granny to cook it, so its life was not wasted.
Ron was a playful prankster prompting shrieks of wild laughter as he poured ice water over the shower curtain on an unsuspecting kid. He could turn tears into giggles by flipping his cap around to become a character of his own imagination~the toothless wonder, "Mr. McGuillicuddy".
Other times, Ron could be found quietly tucked in his recliner hidden by the newspaper he read daily. Often Ron endured long deployments away from family. After school, the kids would check the recliner hoping to see his sock-clad feet rubbing together. They longed for this sight. It made them feel safe when Dad was home.
In 1971, after many assignments and 20 years' service in which he developed a broad set of technical skills, Ron retired with honors as a Senior Master Sergeant ~ the hardest enlisted promotion to acquire.
At 37, one successful career under his belt, Ron relocated his family to Kissimmee, FL~home of the world renowned Mickey Mouse. There, he opened a service and repair station diving head first into entrepreneurship.
When an opportunity presented itself, he joined the management team at Walt Disneyworld. It was a dream come true for Ron and his family, but it was hard work and long hours. Time flew by. The kids grew up on the grounds of the "most magical place on earth."
In 1993, Ron retired from Disney Management and launched another business with Cordelia, The British Outpost, on the highly trafficked tourist corridor.
By 1998, Ron and Cordelia, now empty nesters, sold their stores and moved south of Salt Lake to Utah County on the Wasatch Front. They made many friends and established a comfortable retired lifestyle.
As his family grew by generations, Ron yearned to know more of his mother and her family of origin in Sweden.
In 2017, an email landed in his inbox. It contained a line that rocked his world. The sentence read, "I think we are related."
This email from Olle and Monica Persson in Sweden introduced his mother's surviving family members. What was lost was found.
Several of his children traveled with Ron and Cordelia to meet his mother's family in Sweden. It was an unforgettable adventure.
In 2020 at 86, Ron added author to his personal dossier when he published the novel entitled "Freedom Earned".
While his life story of hardship, personal transition, and the fulfillment of the American dream is inspiring, what's most important to know about Ron is how he loved his family.
Ron was a dedicated husband and father, a good neighbor, and a beloved Grandpa. Over sixty people would not exist were it not for the skinny American airman who walked 30 miles from the base to see the pretty redhead in Gloucestershire.
He worked hard and never complained. By example, he taught: it's important to have God in your life; always respect your elders; pay your debts; make time for play; keep a promise; love your family; be committed and dedicated to them and your values; take care of what you have; fix what you break; and love your country.
A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since the missionaries graced his door in Wisconsin, Ron served the church the way he served his country ~ eager and with honor. Alas, he did harbor a serious vice. It was not a secret, and Ron wasn't ashamed to admit it.
Ron Price was a chocoholic ~ Hershey's, Reece's, Mom's Buckeyes; he could never get enough.
He also suffered from a chronic case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Ron always wanted to be included.
He was delighted to caravan to a family gathering; happy to fill 3-4 rows in the movie theater, and relished the nickname, Grandpa and Grandma Surprise for the practice of showing up unexpected on holidays.
Ron saved throughout the year when the kids were school-age to partner with Cordelia creating meaningful holiday memories. Now grown with grandchildren of their own, his kids recall Christmas as a wonderful windfall of chocolate treats, nuts, and colorful packages.
Surrounded by his 5 children, 14 grandchildren, 41 great grandchildren and most recently his first great-great grandchild, Ron beamed pure joy.
He was proud of each of his children's talents, skills, and accomplishments starting with Randy, his first-born's service in the Army Airborne.
There was no such thing as an in-law to Ron. Everyone was family! He made it a point to know what was going on in each branch of the family. He celebrated the triumphs, prayed in times of challenges, and followed up.
Cancer met its match when it rumbled with Ron. He was a fighter! He beat one form and held off another until the complications brought him to the veil. On his passing, he was surrounded by loved ones and the sweet sound of their voices in song.
Cordelia and his posterity are comforted to know Ron is now healthy and home with his parents, his sister and his brother ~ a family again through Christ.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents: Virgil Addison Price and Vesta Dagny Viola Andersson Price; his older brother Vigil A. Price, Jr.; his older sister Delores (Dorni) V. Price; his cousin, Joanne Stowell, his niece Nancy Price Duerhing, and his son-in-law Danny Lehtonen.
Surviving family include: Loving wife of 68 years Cordelia J. Price of Lehi, UT; Children: Randy and Sharon Price of Kissimmee, FL; George and Debbie Taddei of Lehi, UT; Donna Diamond of Sandy, UT; Gary Price of St. Cloud, FL; Ted and Peachy Price of Aledo, TX.
Grandchildren: Beau and Crystal Diamond of Saratoga Springs, UT; Jon and Harmony Seiter of Saratoga Springs, UT; Sam and Lacie Diamond of American Fork, UT; Trevor and Tenette Espinoza of Orem, UT; Devan Diamond and Madison Bronson of Eagle Mountain, UT; Grey and Samantha Taddei of Portland, OR; Josh and Cindal Dawson of Rio Rancho, NM; Josh and Jessica Diamond of Eagle Mountain, UT; Ronnie Price and Timmy Price of Kissimmee, FL, Alexis Jade Davis of Benbrook, TX; Trevor Diamond and Deseret Rousseau-Antczak of Eugene, OR; Chris Price and Michelle Rusz of Orlando, FL; Forty-one great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Steve Price and Wally Yaris Laufenberg of the San Francisco Bay Area; Janet and Ed Young of Roseville, CA; Stan and June Knipe, Kevin and Christine Roberts, Graham and Petranela Chamberlain, Steve Chamberlain, and Karen Allen all of Gloucestershire, England and many treasured extended family in the UK; Olle and Monica Persson and many, many special extended family in Sweden.
Funeral services will be held at 11AM on Monday, September 12, 2022, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1801 West 700 South in Lehi, Utah. A viewing will be held Sunday night, September 11, from 6-8PM at Larkin Mortuary in Riverton, 3688 West 12600 South, as well as at the church prior to the services beginning at 10AM. Interment will immediately follow at the Utah Veterans Memorial Park in Bluffdale, Utah.
Funeral services will be streamed via Zoom. To view the previously held services, please click the "Watch Services" link above.
Thinking of all the family Ron will be missed very much he was a wonderful family man love from us all in England xx
Ron lived a beautiful life. His passing is a great loss to each of us, and he will be dearly missed by many. Dostoevsky, that great Russian novelist, said "The darker the night, the brighter the stars - the deeper the grief, the closer we are to God." So, like a bird singing in the rain, allow fond memories to lift your spirit in this time of sorrow. Hold close forever those precious memories, they will help fill the void in days ahead.
Please know that you are much loved, and that you hold a special place in my heart and prayers.