Maribeth McPherson Price, age 85, passed peacefully on June 27, 2019 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease with Lewy Bodies. She was born May 21, 1934, in Russellville, Arkansas, to Joe and Margaret McPherson. The family moved to Huntsville, Texas, where Joe was a US Forest Ranger and Margaret taught at Sam Houston State University. Her favorite memories of childhood were riding in her father’s USFS trucks and making up songs about the trees, the sunshine and clouds. In high school Maribeth developed a talent for playing flute and studied with Elaine Shaeffer, renowned flautist with the Houston Symphony. She continued playing the flute until arthritis made that impossible. She was a past member of the symphonies in Houston, Fort Bend County, and Springfield. After high school she graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Special Education. She met a young musician named Gary Price and they were married on January 2, 1953. Maribeth enjoyed many years as a Special Education and Montessori teacher for elementary students. In 1991, she earned a MA in Counseling Psychology from Vermont College. Her studies emphasized art therapy with grieving children and she was commended for her empathy and ability to communicate with very young children in difficult times. Maribeth stated that her greatest teachers and influencers were her students, children, and grandchildren “who awakened me to the wonder, beauty and sacredness of all life over and over again.”
In the early 1980s a tragic car accident shattered her body. Her physical and spiritual recovery led her to study with Dale Goldstein, LCSW, at the Heartworks Institute in Rochester, New York. Maribeth was instrumental in organizing numerous Heartworks workshops in Texas and continued her work with Dale until her death. She further added to her spiritual growth by studying Zen meditation with Ruben Habito at the Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas, Texas. She lived her Catholic faith by serving as a Eucharistic minister and lector at numerous Catholic churches, most recently at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Her extended church family was a source of faith and strength during her last two decades of life. She was an Oblate of the Benedictine Order after years of worship and contemplation at the Benedictine Monastery Osage Forest of Peace in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. Maribeth shared her gifts of empathy and encouragement through years of volunteer service with hospice. For several years she volunteered to rock premature babies at the Cox South Neonatal Unit. For many years Maribeth taught meditation and mindfulness to cancer patients, their families and care providers through the Cancer Center at Mercy Hospital. Afterwards she continued teaching weekly meditation classes in her home up until her death.
Maribeth was preceded in death by her parents, Joe and Margaret McPherson, and her husband Gary Price. She is survived by her daughter Karen Price and Steven Williams of League City, Texas; her daughter KayLynn Price and Wanda Dubaz of Houston, Texas; and son Carl Price and Kathy Price of Springfield, Missouri. Also surviving are the lights of her life, her grandchildren: Devan Williams and Taylor Sanders of Portland, Oregon; Oliver Williams of League City, Texas; Joseph Price of Springfield, Missouri; Ana Price of London, England; and Mary Price Wey and Matt Wey of Austin, Texas.
The past years of declining physical health introduced the family to many wonderful caregivers and healers. The family thanks Drs. Kenneth Powell, Martin Schudy, Jennifer Lynch, and Shannon Woods for attending to Maribeth’s ongoing health needs. We are especially grateful to Hospice Compassus for wonderful support during her passing. Finally, we cannot express enough gratitude to the caregivers who came into her home and treated Maribeth with dignity, love, and professionalism: Minnie, Louise, Pat, Traci, Doris, Danielle, and the staff of Visiting Angels.
A Memorial Mass of Celebration will be held at 11:00am on Friday, July 26, 2019 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 2818 E. Bennett Street, Springfield, Missouri 65804. A Zen Memorial and reception celebrating her life will follow at the home of Carl and Kathy Price.
According to Maribeth’s wishes, memorial donations should be made in lieu of flowers. She asked for support to the Heartworks Institute (www.awakentheheart.org), Maria Kannon Zen Center (www.mkzc.org); Best Friends Animal Society (www.bestfriends.org), and Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri (www.ccsomo.org).
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