Originally Published: November 13, 2008 10:37 p.m.
Joan Coates Price died Nov. 4, 2008, in Prescott, Ariz. She was 76. Joan was born in Washington, D.C., June 28, 1932, to Percy and Ruth Coates. She attended Colby College in New Hampshire. Joan worked in Washington, D.C., as one of the first employees of the then newly created Central Intelligence Agency. While serving as the director of Youth Education at St. Columbia Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., Joan met the love of her life, James B. Price, a new Episcopalian priest. Joan and Jim were married on Aug. 23, 1958.
Joan and Jim began their married life on the island of St. Croix, where Jim had been assigned to his first parish. From there, they moved to Princeton, N.J. Later in life, Joan recalled the early years of their marriage in an autobiographical text, "They Always Die on Fridays." Their life together was always filled with love, respect and humor.
Joan and Jim first moved to Arizona in 1966 when Jim accepted a position as chaplain and teacher at the Orme School in Mayer, Ariz. Joan and Jim remained at Orme for 14 years. During that time, Joan rose to the position of Director of Development for the exclusive boarding school. Joan and Jim left Arizona when Jim accepted a position as Headmaster of St. John's School in Abilene, Texas. In 1985, Joan and Jim returned to Arizona where Jim headed the Church of the Advent in Sun City West.
In 1986, Joan joined the Phoenix Art Museum as a docent. She continued to serve this organization and her community for the rest of her life. Joan excelled in her work as a researcher for the museum and as a presenter for the Speakers' Bureau. Joan served as Chairman of the Speakers' Bureau for the docents and as Treasurer. Joan's leadership as the first chair of the museum's Long Range Planning Committee is reflected in the expansion and growth of the present museum. Through her countless hours of research and volunteerism, Joan achieved the rank of Master Docent.
During their years in Sun City, Joan and Jim built a home in Prescott, Wild Rock. When Jim retired in 1996, he and Joan moved permanently to their beloved Prescott home. Joan became active in the Prescott Art Museum docents and continued her Speakers' Bureau efforts for the Prescott area. Jim passed away in 1999. Joan was able to live out the remainder of her life at Wild Rock.
Joan is survived by a sister and brother-in-law, Jean and Ross Parkhurst of Melbourne, Fla.; a nephew and nieces, James Parkhurst, Linda Baumgartner, Nancy Lawless and Sally Beckwith, their spouses and 11 grand-nephews and -nieces. In addition, Joan leaves behind her "adopted" daughters, Madeline Katz Barber and Ethel Rehfeldt DeMarr, both of Scottsdale, Ariz., and many, many friends.
Services will be 11 a.m. Nov. 18, 2008, at Church of the Advent, 13150 Spanish Garden Drive, Sun City West, Ariz. In lieu of flowers, Joan has requested that memorials be directed to the James B. Price Endowment Fund for the Church of the Advent.
Information provided by survivors.