Jean Bowen Price of Evergreen was born on November 28, 1926 in Montgomery, and died on November 9, 2016.
Graveside services will be held at Magnolia Cemetery in Evergreen at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 13. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Evergreen Public Library or one of the many charities she supported, among them Wounded Warrior Project and ASPCA.
She was preceded in death, at age three, by her parents, Dewey and Sue Felder Bowen. Three maternal aunts, Blake and Louise Felder and Frances Adams, devoted their lives to rearing Jean and her sister Marion while the country was in the rip of the Great Depression. Jean and her sister grew up on Mulberry Street in Montgomery, in a household that knew little material wealth, but they were devotedly loved and cared for and never thought of themselves as "orphans" or deprived in any way. Her aunts noticed her musical talent early on, and her study of the piano led her to accompany the Lanier High School Orchestra. At the University of Alabama she was a founder of Delta Gamma, was named Corolla Beauty Queen in 1947, and after a term at the University of Mexico, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She graduated with a double major in three years as second in her class. While at the University, she met and fell in love with Leonard Wilson Price, Jr. (Sonny) of Evergreen. They married the following year and started a family.
She was a constant in her children's lives, giving encouragement and inspiration, expecting the best of them every day. She and her husband were part of the group that launched Sparta Academy, where her great-grandson is presently enrolled. She taught Spanish there for two years. Around the age of 40, she discovered a latent talent with oil paints, focused on portraiture, and her works, eventually numbering in the hundreds, may now be seen in homes and places of business all over the Southeast as well as a few foreign countries.
She was Evergreen's last surviving Episcopalian, having been welcomed as a bride into the congregation, largely composed at the time of aging widows and spinsters who titled themselves "The Belles of Saint Mary's". She eventually came to see to the upkeep of the old church, singlehandedly, for decades. Through the Study Club, she and her mother-in-law, Annie Roan Price, were instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Evergreen Public Library, from its humble beginnings beneath the overpass to the excellent facility we have today.
She was preceded in death in 2014 by her husband Leonard and a daughter, Jean Bowen Price. She is survived by four children, Susan Garth (Tom), Len Price, Nancy Greenwood (Duncan), and Shelby Dukes; her sister, Marion Bowen Rae; 11 grandchildren, Sudie Burnette, Elizabeth Ferguson, Dr. Thomas Garth, Dr. Katie Garth, McPherson Cook, John Cook, Marcus Porter, Gil Dukes, Price Dukes, Christian Dukes, and David Dukes; eight great-grandchildren, and a nephew, David Rae.
Published in the Montgomery Advertiser on Nov. 11, 2016.