NORTHPORT Retired U.S. Army Colonel David Hilsman (formerly Price) Pryce, age 72, gave birth to his soul dying at his home on October 19, 2012, after a long illness. He was cared for throughout his illness and death by family, friends, and his wife, Jo Pryce, and Hospice of West Alabama. He had a good and peaceful death.
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David Hilsman Pryce was born to David Kilgo Price and Ritsie Edwina Chambers on November 18, 1939, in Athens, Georgia. He was preceded in death by his beloved canine, Silvey Pryce; parents; paternal grandparents, Annie Silvey Price and Edmund Sterling Price; and maternal grandmother, Vera S. Chambers. He resided in Athens, Georgia until he left to attend Young Harris College. Upon completion he joined the Army as a private in 1957. He is survived by his son, David Hilsman Price Jr. of Mahwah, N.J.; daughters, Katrina Elizabeth Price Lange of Naples Fla. and Kendra Kae Price Neal of Columbus, Ga.; granddaughters, Kristin Ausbon and Mary Beth Neal; and grandsons, Bradley Carnes, Aaron Chun, and Parker Neal.
Colonel Pryce had a distinguished military career, retiring as a Colonel in 1986 after 30 years. He served two tours of duty flying Huey gunships in Vietnam in 1964 and 1965, fighting in all Corps areas while living in Saigon. In 1967 he served in the Bong Son area with the 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry of the Air Cavalry Division as a gunship pilot and later as an aero scout platoon leader in OH-13s. Upon returning from Vietnam he obtained a master's degree in history from the University of Nebraska and taught American history of war at the Air Force Academy. He then served two tours of duty in Korea. He was asked to attend the Army War College and instead chose to serve as the Senior Army Advisor to the Hawaii National Guard where he created the first Hawaii National Guard Family Program. David Pryce's military awards include Silver Star with two Oak Leaf Clusters; Legion of Merit; Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster; Meritorious Service Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters; Bronze Star; Air Medal (52); two Purple Hearts with Oak Leaf Cluster; Combat Infantry Badge; Senior Army Aviator Badge; Senior Parachutist Badge; Presidential Unit Citation (2); Meritorious Unit Citation; Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm; Gold Star; and Silver Star. Colonel Pryce was inducted into the U.S. Army Infantry Officer Candidate School's Hall of Fame at Fort Benning, Georgia in 1984.
Upon retirement David was asked to develop educational program materials to be used by the Army to prepare families for deployment and reintegration. The program was disseminated throughout the Army and is in use today. During that time David obtained a master's degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington. He was appointed by Congress to serve on the National Committee for the Readjustment of Veterans and served for 13 years. David and his wife Jo (Gillis) were married April 19, 1995, and moved to Tuscaloosa in 1996 where she is a professor of social work at the University of Alabama and he taught as a lecturer in the school. David also served as the Executive Director for the Alabama Chapter of the National Association of Social Work. He recently coauthored a book with his wife and a colleague, The Costs of Courage: Combat Stress, Warriors and Family Survival to help educated professionals about working with military service members, veterans and their families.
David was a member of Canterbury Chapel and Episcopal Student Center, where a Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. David will be mourned by many friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.
Words of comfort may be shared with the family online at www.sunsetbrown-funeral.com.
Published in Tuscaloosa News on Nov. 4, 2012