William Royal Price, 90, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 13, 2019. William endured his long battle with Alzheimer’s disease with the Christian grace that all who knew and loved him resolutely expected. He was born on January 16, 1929 in Pendleton, NC. At the time, William’s father, Rev. James [J. Louis] Louis Price, was the pastor Robert’s Chapel Baptist Church. When William was five years old, the Price family moved to Bloxom, Virginia, with his father serving as the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church for four years; after which, Rev. Price accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Siler City, NC. In March 1941, Rev. Price became the pastor of Hickory’s Penelope Baptist Church. William remained a member of that church for the rest of his life—seventy-eight years. His father became the Pastor Emeritus of Penelope in 1977. A number of years back, William was honored by being installed as the Deacon Emeritus of Penelope.
After serving in the U.S. Army, William returned to Hickory, and he worked for more than 30 years at the Pepsi Cola Bottling Plant. After leaving Pepsi, William worked until retirement in maintenance at several area businesses.
William Price truly was “a man for all seasons.” He was a devoutly dedicated Christian who toiled tirelessly in the service of Penelope Baptist Church and its membership. In return, the members of that congregation have stalwartly loved and supported William.
William was also a talented artist—painting in both oil and watercolors—with many of his works, particularly his oil paintings depicting beautifully rendered rural and mountain scenes of western North Carolina, being of museum-exhibition quality. He was expert in clock repair and building; and when he was but 21 years of age, he constructed a clock (from a kit) made of wood in which the only piece of metal was the mainspring. That clock, now located in his niece’s home, kept time accurately until several years ago (despite the attentive and sustaining care of her husband, Steve Curtis).
William loved music, particularly hymns and classical music. For many years, he traveled the length and breadth of our state to attend performances by The North Carolina Symphony. He was a gifted pianist since his teens, playing flawlessly with both hands—by ear. He taught himself to play the violin when he turned seventy years old, and performed a number of times at Penelope Baptist Church.
William was preceded in death by his father and mother, J. Louis Price and Dora Eplee Price; his brother, James [James] L. Price, Jr., and his sister-in-law, Lucille L. Price. He is survived by his nephew, James [Jim] L. Price, III (Mary), of Wilmington, NC; his niece Jeremee [Jere] Price Curtis (Steve), of Greensboro, NC; his grandnephew, James [Jay] L. Price, IV (and his daughters, Kaitlyn and Sarah), of Raleigh, NC; his grandniece, April Price Winters (Shane [and their son, Henry]), of Wilmington, NC; and many, many loving cousins.
It is suspected that William humbly smiled when he heard the words this past Saturday afternoon: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
A celebration of William’s life will be held at Penelope Baptist Church on Thursday, April 18, 2019, with the family receiving guests at 10 a.m., and the funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. Rev. Nicholas King will preside. Interment at Fairview Cemetery will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to Penelope Baptist Church.
Bass-Smith Funeral Home in Hickory is serving the family of William Royal Price.