Born Friday, May 8, 1953
Died Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Willie Ray Price, Jr was born in McKinney, Texas on May 8, 1953, to Willie Ray Price, Sr. and Helen Catherine (Thomas) Price. He departed this life on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at the age of 68.
Willie’s father was in the Army, so his childhood was spent in Texas, Kansas, Germany, Colorado, California and Georgia. When his father retired from the Army in 1966, they made their move to Muskogee, OK. He graduated from Muskogee High School in 1971 and went on to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree in Offset Printing Technology from Pittsburg State University in 1974. In 1975, he accepted a job with Muskogee Public Schools as an assistant in the print shop where he continued to teach that program until it was discontinued. In 2000, when the printing program was discontinued, he started a new program to teach IBM and A+ certifications. He built that program from the ground up and often had a waiting list to enroll. He loved his students, and they were the light of his life. He would often hold pool parties during the summer for his students and loved getting them together for fun times. During his time teaching, he went back to school at Oklahoma State University and obtained his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education. He also participated in many programs outside of the classroom including Key Club, Robotics Program, Negotiations Team as the Chief Negotiator and the Department Head for the Technology Department. Over the 39 years of teaching at Muskogee High School, Willie made such an amazing impact on thousands of students.
Willie met the love of his life, Polly Willett, in the fall of 1984. They wed on July 12, 1985, and shared 36 wonderful years of marriage. One year and 3 days after they wed, they welcomed their first child, Amber. They welcomed their second child, Christopher on October 28, 1988.
In May 2014, Willie made the decision to retire from teaching, and freely chose to be paid in hugs and kisses by keeping his first grandchild, Jade. Family time meant more than anything to him. He was eager to invite the whole family over to eat great food and swim in the pool. He enjoyed nothing more than spending all his free moments with his kids, grandkids and family.
Willie spent many hours serving at Eastern Heights Baptist Church where he has been a member for many years. He served as Trustee, Finance Committee Chairman, Personnel Committee Chairman, and served on the Committee on Committees. He also assisted his wife Polly, in starting the backpack program and ran the sound and video for many years.
Willie was preceded in death by his parents Willie Ray Price, Sr. and Helen Catherine Price, his mother-in-law Polly Willett, his stepmother Sherry Price and his great-niece Lauren Price.
Willie is survived by his wife, Polly, of the home; his children, Amber Crall and husband Shawn of Fort Gibson, OK, and his son Christopher Price and wife Jennie of Tulsa, OK; grandchildren Jade Crall, Easton Price and Westley Price; brother David Price and wife Mona; sisters, Kathie Lipe and Joyce Rowland; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and a very large host of friends.
Open visitation will be at Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 N York St, Muskogee, OK 74403, on October 4, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The family will welcome friends from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Willie will be remembered at a Celebration of Life service at Eastern Heights Baptist Church in Muskogee, OK on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Bro. Darren Wallace & Steve Wasson will officiate.
Pallbearers will be Christopher Price, Shawn Crall, Jeremy Holmes, Mike Price, Nicholas Price, Thomas Price and Drew Crawford. Honorary pallbearers are Jeff Kent, Gene Madding, Bruce Ragsdale, Malcolm Mebane, Brandon Price, Jason Price and Jason Kunkle.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Lake Area United Way for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library book program. Donations can be made online at www.lakeareaunitedway.org or checks can be mailed to PO Box 1612, Muskogee, OK 74402.
Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home & Crematory 1830 N York St Muskogee, OK 74403. Condolences can be made to the family at www.cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.