Stephen W. Price, Episcopal clergyman
The Rev. Canon Stephen W. Price, 73, who grew up in Ridgefield and was an Episcopal clergyman who crusaded for racial equality, social justice, and affordable housing for seniors, died Sunday, Jan. 24, of complications from a lung transplant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
He grew up on Peaceable Hill Road in Ridgefield, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Price. His father was the president of Ridgefield Supply Co. He was a graduate of Ridgefield High School and took his undergraduate college work at Wesleyan University in Middletown, in the College of Social Studies, where he graduated with honors and worked on campus radio in the early 1960s.
He continued his education with a master’s degree from Yale Divinity School. Upon his ordination at the First Congregational Church of Ridgefield in June 1968, Price accepted a call as an urban minister for the St. Paul Urban Parish in St. Paul, Minn. As part of his responsibilities he served as pastor of Olivet United Methodist Church, an inner-city parish, and was under the care of the United Methodist Bishop of Minnesota.
In 1970, Price was appointed to the position of assistant to the vice president for financial affairs of the Ford Foundation in New York City. At the Ford Foundation his primary responsibility was coordinating the foundation’s investment policy with program goals. Price then continued to work with the Ford Foundation as a private consultant with the firm of K.S. Sweet Associates in King of Prussia, Pa. On behalf of the foundation, he advised non-profit community-based organizations throughout the country that were active in inner-city poverty areas.
He was married to the former Dawn Hauptman of Ridgefield, with whom he had four children, and lived in West Chester, Pa.
Price found his calling to the priesthood early in life and fervently dedicated himself to its pursuit, his family said.
He joined the priesthood in 1980.
At the time of his death, Price was priest-in-charge of Calvary Episcopal Church in Conshohocken.
Price was a member of the Cathedral Chapter, and acted as treasurer and chair of the finance committee of the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. He was named honorary canon in recognition of his service to the cathedral and diocese on Jan. 6.
As a young man, he showed his willingness to act on his beliefs. He marched with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Ala., in 1965; demonstrated outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago; and pushed for disinvestment from South Africa in 1972 to protest the country’s system of racial apartheid.
“He was a champion for the people and a hero to us,” said stepdaughter Kristine Dickinson-Pabody.
Later in life, Price turned his attention to providing low-cost housing for seniors of modest means. For 30 years, he was a leader and member of several public-private partnerships.
He also fostered community and real estate development for the Ford Foundation and K.S. Sweet Associates, and was a board member for the Spirit of Gheel, a community for the mentally ill in Spring City, and the Brandywine Health Foundation, a group that fosters wellness in Coatesville.
He was the husband of Kathleen Deets Price for 23 years.
In addition to his wife and stepdaughter, he is survived by sons Peter and Christopher, daughters Alicia Baker and Kerry Price, stepson James F. Dickinson Jr., a sister, and four grandchildren. His first wife, Dawn Flewellen, from whom he was divorced, survives.
Ridgefield survivors include his sister-in-law, Jo-Anne Price, and a niece, Margaret Price.
A visitation at noon on Feb. 2 was followed by a Requiem Eucharist service at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral. Interment was private.