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Betty (Boettcher) Price

Obituary
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Betty (nee Boettcher) Price Betty Boettcher Price, born in Saginaw, Michigan on November 4, 1913 to Hugo and Carlotta Boettcher, passed away peacefully on October 20, 2013 at the age of almost 100. A graduate of Saginaw High School, Betty Price received a B.A. from Michigan Agricultural College, now Michigan State University (MSU), in 1935. Upon graduation Betty made several trips to Europe, where she became interested in new "modernist" design. Betty Price then began a long and remarkable career as a groundbreaking retailer and importer specializing in gifts and modern design and also as a philanthropist generously supporting her many causes. Betty married Don Price in 1938. Following World War II, she and Don joined her father's business, Liebermann's in downtown Lansing. In 1947 Betty Price began the first of many collaborations with world renowned architect George Nelson when he designed the lower level of Liebermann's at 107 Washington. At Liebermann's Betty introduced the Lansing area to innovative modern designers based in Michigan and to a wide variety of uniquely crafted items from around the world. Over time the business flourished, opening a branch in East Lansing. In 1965 Betty Price commissioned Nelson to design an entire store when she opened the new Liebermann's at 113 Washington in Lansing. It remains the only retail store that George Nelson ever designed. Betty and her husband Don were active in the community, serving as founding members of the Wharton Center, the Downtown Development Board, the Dean's Committee of the MSU College of Arts and Letters, the YWCA and many other entities. She received the Citizen of the Year award from the City of East Lansing in 1995. One of her most impressive accomplishments was the career she created after the death of her husband in her "retirement" at the age of 75. Betty traveled to Poland, Hong Kong, the Dominican Republic and Mexico to import fine jewelry and began Betty Price Imports, donating half the proceeds to her favorite projects, including the Wharton Center, the MSU College of Music, the Kresge Art Center and the Utica (NY) Public Library, among others. She always believed in living energetically and enjoying life to the fullest, setting an example we all admired in her till the end. Betty was predeceased by her parents, her three brothers, Norman, Arthur and Hugo Jr., her husband Don and son Michael. She is survived by her son Tom, daughter-in-law Cynthia Carlson, grandsons Bergen and Sawyer as well nieces, nephews, many friends and admirers. A memorial will be announced at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts or the Betty Price Endowment at Michigan State University.

Published in Lansing State Journal on Oct. 27, 2013
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