Cover photo for Carl Allen Price's Obituary
Carl Allen Price Profile Photo
1939 Carl 2023

Carl Allen Price

August 29, 1939 — November 10, 2023

Clayton, New Mexico


After a lengthy illness, my beloved husband of sixteen years passed from this life on Friday, November 10th, 2023, at the age of 84 years.

Born on August 29, 1939, Carl was the elder of two children born to Mildred “Mills” (Draper) and Calvin Price in Miami, Florida.  His sister, Betty, was born two years later.  The family moved around a lot, as his father worked as a ride-along railroad engineer, whose job it was to maintain the engines and keep them running smoothly all up and down the East Coast. His mother stayed home with the children and was active in keeping Carl and Betty busy learning and reading. When Carl was seven years old, his father took a job in Honduras with the United Fruit Company, now Chiquita, as a production engineer.  Carl and his sister learned to speak “Banana” Spanish, and received an excellent education in the company-run school until he finished eighth grade.  Because the formal education opportunities ended there after eighth grade, Carl was sent to live with his father’s best friend’s family on Long Island, New York, where he attended school for two years.  At that time, the family all moved together to Long Beach, California, where Carl finished his last years of school.

While there, Carl met his future wife and mother of his four children, Mary Kathryn Gross.  The couple would later marry in 1963 and have four children: Charles, Angie, Kathy, and Lisa.

After high school graduation, Carl attended Purdue University but left after a year to enlist in the United States Army at the age of nineteen in 1959, where he intended to have a full career.  One of the requirements was to provide addresses of every place he had lived before enlistment.  “Our family had lived in 38 different places by the time I was eighteen years of age!”  His first seven years, Carl trained and served as an expert helicopter mechanic, eventually ending up in Berlin, Germany, where he served as Crew Chief.  From there, Carl attended Officer Candidate School, and quickly distinguished himself as a leader, so the Army sent him to Vietnam to lead a fifty-man platoon that managed the 50-ml guns used to defend the perimeters of ammo dumps and large encampments during the height of the War.  Because of his rigorous demands and intense training of his men, Captain Price brought every single man in his platoon home from the war.  After returning to his family, Carl decided to leave the Army after ten and a half years.  To his credit were a significant number of citations, commendations, and medals.

Carl was a unique individual.  He was always interested in learning how things worked, how they were put together, and how he could improve things.  When computer technology was in its infancy, Carl became involved because he realized they would change how the familiar would be changed.  He chose to distinguish himself with a career as a “machine diagnostician.”  He had learned that every engine or machine had a unique sound or character, and he possessed the ability to look at or listen to them and instantly know what was wrong, and he could fix them.  He worked for a company that contracted with Princess Cruises, and when they called, Carl would be flown out to sea - wherever they were – to diagnose and repair huge engines or fans, then ride the ship back to port!

In 1996, Carl moved to Clayton.  In November 1997, he found his niche as the helpful clerk at RW Isaacs Hardware, a job he proudly held for 20 years.  The Isaacs treated Carl like one of their own.  Many thought he WAS an Isaacs.  Most simply referred to him as “Carl down at Isaacs.”  Carl had a working knowledge of almost everything and could converse comfortably with any man, woman, or child about hardware or paint.  He was just the quiet “go-to” man when I needed help as I was attempting to redo my home.

Eleven years later, I married that man whose skills and intelligence I respected.  When Jeannette and Keith Barras bought the Eklund, Carl and I became a part of it, as well.  Carl oversaw the Model Ts as a mechanic and driver.  He also took on managing the inventory of beer and wine for the saloon.

Basically, Carl was a loner who enjoyed reading anything about guns, photography, mechanics, and cars, but his favorite reading sources were manuals that told how things worked.  Because he shared a love of literature with his father, Carl also enjoyed reading classic literature and could recite long poems, although not many knew this.  He possessed a massive vocabulary, and I never found a word he could not spell.  He was an expert at reloading and woodworking, and he created gorgeous handcrafted pens and bottle stoppers that he sold in my shop.  Earlier in his life, he was an avid photographer with his own darkroom whose favorite subjects were his children; he was a pilot with his own hot air balloon, and he enjoyed the ocean and swimming.

Carl was very proud to have served his country in the armed forces and was proud to have achieved the rank of Captain.  He was a lifelong member of the Oscar Haug VFW Post #3271, where he had served as a vice commander and was an active member.

Carl’s health declined after a complication of open-heart surgery, which resulted in the onset of dementia and other comorbidities.  It became necessary for him to leave the workforce.  Eventually, he became housebound and I became his full-time caretaker.

Why do I mention all this?  So often, we look at a person and see what is and never stop to think about what was.  Most would see Carl Price as the sick, old man who dropped from sight.  Well, Carl was a compilation of so many experiences, places he had lived, things he had done, and because he was not one to talk about himself much, none of us has a total picture of this man.  But he was a good man, and he should not be remembered as ‘the old man with dementia.’  He was so much more, and I tried to put the puzzle pieces together.

Carl was preceded in death by his father, mother, and sister.

My husband was incredibly proud of his children and their accomplishments.  He even told me he admired their mother so much for the job she did of raising them without him.  Mary Kay, if he did not tell you, you need to hear that he did tell me.  I am glad you and I are friends.

Carl’s children and spouses are Charles & Tomoko Price of Los Angeles, California; Angie & Ron Boyer of Coopeville, Washington; Kathy & Troy Moore of Jenks, Oklahoma; and Lisa & Trevitt Hendricks of Ferndale, Washington.

Carl’s grandchildren and spouses/partners are Miranda & Peter Townsend of Edmonds, Washington; Melanie Boyer & Morgan Osmer of Port Townsend, Washington; Torrieann Boyer of Oak Harbor, Washington; Renee & Jake Engelkes of Mounds, Oklahoma; C J Moore of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Grace Villasenor, and Evyvn Villasenor of Ferndale, Washington.

Carl’s great-grandchildren are Angie’s grandchildren, Violet Osmer, Liam & Sophie Cavitt; and Kathy’s grandchildren Aurora Engelkes, Cyrus & Riverleigh Moore.

Carl also leaves Betty Duski’s (his sister) two daughters: Shanna Hudson of Henderson, Nevada, and Devri Engler of Buckeye, Arizona.

My family also loved and respected him.  My siblings called him brother, and their children called him Uncle Carl.

Carl Price, what an honor it has been to be your wife, friend, and full-time nurse!  I love you and always will, and I will see you in Heaven one day! Jo Beth Vigil-Price, Clayton, New Mexico.

A memorial service with full military honors is being planned for family and friends with Inurnment to follow at a later date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carl Allen Price, please visit our flower store.


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