John H. Price, 20, honor student and lacrosse star at College of Holy Cross

May 06, 2000|By Jacques Kelly and Frederick N. Rasmussen | Jacques Kelly and Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

John Hargaden Price, an honor student and lacrosse star at College of the Holy Cross who planned to spend his life working as an advocate for the poor, died yesterday at the Worcester (Mass.) Medical Center of injuries sustained in an accident earlier this week. He was 20 and a Glyndon resident.

Mr. Price, who would have turned 21 on May 15, was a junior at the Worcester, Mass., college, where he was majoring in religious studies.

He had been in a coma since early Tuesday morning after being struck by a CSX Transportation freight train while walking along rail tracks in the central Massachusetts city.

Yesterday, 600 somber students and faculty gathered at a noontime Mass on the Holy Cross campus to remember the young man who was an outstanding student and gifted athlete who had hoped to work as a lawyer in the field of human rights.

Mr. Price, who was to have been inducted next year into Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit National Honor Society, volunteered at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, the Massachusetts Welfare Protection Association and with a Vietnamese refugee who lived in the city.

"John was a young man of intelligence," said the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., professor of religious studies and Mr. Price's adviser.

"He said it was the public service component at Holy Cross that made him decide to attend the school. He saw students getting up early on a Saturday morning and going off to volunteer, and said, `This is the place I want to be,' " he said.

"I was kidding him one day and said, `Don't worry, we'll get you through law school and a nice job with a Baltimore corporation.' He said, `Father, you don't know me very well. I hope to study public service law and work with the poor,' " he said.

An outstanding varsity midfielder, Mr. Price was elected captain of next year's team at a season-end banquet April 28.

"He was ecstatic that he was so honored," the team's coach, Michael J. McCaffrey, said yesterday.

"It reflected highly on John's ability to lead and be a positive influence on his teammates. As a player, he had tremendous speed and a great ability to understand the game. He was an absolute rock. We're just devastated here. He was such a tremendous asset to our program," said Mr. McCaffrey.

Mr. Price, who was born in Baltimore, spent his early years in the Middle East where his father, G. Jefferson Price III, now The Sun's foreign editor, was the newspapers' Middle East correspondent.

After his family returned and settled in Glyndon, Mr. Price enrolled in Loyola Blakefield in Towson, where he was a varsity football and lacrosse star and graduated in 1997.

A tall, good-looking young man, he was remembered by Katherine L. Preis, his middle-school math teacher, as being a "very bright and intelligent child" who "was a great joker. He was a kid who had a lot of spunk."

The Rev. Jack Dennis, S.J., president of Loyola Blakefield, described him as a "challenging young man who always asked lots of questions," and recalled his widespread popularity among students and faculty.

"He had strong-core Catholic-based values, and it was his desire to be of service to his community. He was a wonderful young man who embraced the values of St. Ignatius Loyola to be a `Man for Others.' He lived it out. He had his own perspective," he said yesterday.

"He was a man of principle who couldn't be talked away from them. `We'll do what is right,' he used to always say. That was John," said the Rev. Bradley Murray, S.J., a Loyola Blakefield teacher.

"He always had great compassion for those who couldn't meet his standards. That's what made John Price such a good friend," he said.

"He was a great-hearted kid who happened to be a multitalented athlete. He played both football and lacrosse. There was no one better-liked," said Joe McFadden, his former lacrosse coach at Loyola.

Mr. Price was a communicant of St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in the Mount Vernon section of Baltimore. He had volunteered at St. Ignatius Loyola Academy and had been an acolyte at Masses.

The Rev. William J. Watters, S.J., his pastor, recalled yesterday that Mr. Price had last served the Christmas Mass at the church.

"He was an extraordinary young man, quite reflective, quite profound in his thinking," Father Watters said. "He was the kind of person you meet only once in a great while. He wrote an essay for his confirmation that I can still recall," he said.

A Mass of Christian burial for Mr. Price, who was an organ donor, will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Ignatius Church, 740 N. Calvert St. Donations may be made in his memory to St. Ignatius Loyola Academy.

In addition to his father, Mr. Price is survived by his mother, Anne Hargaden Price; two brothers, Arthur B. Price and Sebastian Roe Price, both of Glyndon; a sister, Mary T. Price of Glyndon; his paternal grandparents, George J. Price II of Miami and Martine Price of Essex, Conn.; and several uncles, aunts and cousins.


Because of limited space and the large number of requests for obituaries, The Sun regrets that it cannot publish all the obituaries it receives. Because The Sun regards obituaries as news, we give preference to those submitted within 48 hours of a person's death. It is also our intention to run obituaries no later than seven days after death.

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