Rev. Bruce K. Price, 68, minister, pub owner and political candidate

May 20, 2002|By Lane Harvey Brown | Lane Harvey Brown,STAFF WRITER

The Rev. Bruce K. Price, a retired Methodist minister, political aspirant and pub owner, died suddenly at home Friday of undetermined causes. He was 68.

"He was always doing more than a few things at the same time," said his wife, Baltimore District Judge Teaette Shelton Price. "He was very gregarious, and he loved meeting people. That's why he loved all three - politics, the clergy and the pub."

Mr. Price was born in Cumberland and graduated from Allegany High School, where he was a star football player. He became a Methodist lay preacher before his graduation, delivering sermons at small churches that did not have full-time ministers.

FOR THE RECORD - The Rev. Bruce K. Price: An obituary in yesterday's editions for the Rev. Bruce K. Price incorrectly stated the date of funeral services, which will be held at noon on Tuesday at Patapsco United Methodist Church, 7800 Wise Ave., in Dundalk. The Sun regrets the error.

A Marine Corps veteran, he graduated from Western Maryland College with a teaching certificate and received his master's degree in theology from American University. He was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1958.

While attending seminary, he would preach in Dean's Cove, Prosperity and Oakland on Sundays, then substitute teach Mondays at Allegany High. There, he met Teaette Shelton, his future wife, who was still a student. After she graduated in June 1960, the couple began dating. The couple married in October that year.

They moved to Dundalk, where he became pastor at Patapsco United Methodist Church. In the years he served there, from 1960 to 1969, the church membership increased, said Mrs. Price. While at Patapsco, he earned a doctorate in educational administration from American University.

At Patapsco, Mr. Price designed a new church building to replace one that burned down, said church historian William Gregory.

He was known as a good administrator and a prolific writer whose sermons made people stop and listen, Mr. Gregory said. "Reverend Price was one of the greatest we had, and the people loved him," he said.

Mr. Price moved easily in the worlds of faith and politics.

He took a leave from active ministry in the 1970s to serve as a special assistant to Gov. Marvin Mandel, writing speeches for him and attending events. He ran for the House of Delegates twice in the 1970s and for mayor of Baltimore in 1991, but was defeated in primary elections.

Though he did not run again for office, "he never quite quit thinking about it," said his wife. "He had an avid, undying interest in politics."

Mr. Price was pastor at several other churches before he retired from Lansdowne United Methodist Church in 1997, though he was still called on to perform weddings, christenings and other events. He was also a Mason.

He was dean of students at Chesapeake Community College and executive director of the Maryland Bicentennial Commission in the early 1970s. He also was a past president of the Annapolis Fine Arts Festival.

In recent years, neighbors would see him cruising through Butchers Hill in his beloved 1967 green Mustang convertible, which had a cameo role in the late-'80s movie Satisfaction, his wife said.

They moved to the neighborhood about 15 years ago, and Mr. Price pursued his passion for renovation, starting with their home on Baltimore Street. He worked on eight other homes and Simon's Pub, a bar that he and his son, Simon Kahle Price, owned together.

Mr. Price, who maintained the home with four young children while his wife attended law school during the mid-1970s, was an excellent cook. His veal parmigiana and steak subs were "marvelous," his wife said, adding, "He was a pancake maker extraordinaire."

Services will be at noon today at Patapsco United Methodist Church in Dundalk. Interment will be private.

In addition to his wife of 41 years and his son, Mr. Price is survived by two daughters, Dr. Jennifer Price Corder of Millersville and Heather Price Smith of Frederick; another son, Benjamin Bruce Price of Annapolis; a brother, Dr. Charles Price of Conroe, Texas; and nine grandchildren. A son, Bruce Price, died in infancy.

Sun staff writer Lisa Goldberg contributed to this article.

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