Cover photo for Robert A. Price's Obituary
Robert A. Price Profile Photo

Robert A. Price

November 13, 1942 — April 24, 2022

Robert A. Price

Robert Alan Price, 79, passed away peacefully on April 24, 2022, with his wife, his son, his oldest daughter, and his son-in-law by his side, at Altercare of Bucyrus where he had been receiving care after a recent surgery.

He is survived by Jonny Sullivan-Price, his wife of 45 years; three children: his daughter, Ysabel Hoover of Kent, Ohio, and her husband, Roger and her stepdaughters, Ava and Margo; his daughter, Genevieve Price of St. Louis, Missouri, and her daughter, Whitney Downard; his son, Robert St. John, in the Navy currently assigned to the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush, and his fiancée, Junko Kaino of Sasebo, Japan; his brother, Mike, of Anchorage, Alaska, and his wife, Margaret, and daughter, Anna Price, of Bozeman, Montana; and finally, his beloved dog, Maxwell.

Bob was born on November 13, 1942, in Bucyrus, the second son of the late Edgar Ellsworth and Freda May (Haller) Price. Their first son, Donnie, died from scarlet fever at the age of four before Bob was born. Bob himself contracted scarlet fever as a toddler but survived due to the advent of penicillin. He spoke fondly of his idyllic childhood experiences on his grandparents’ farm just outside Bucyrus. An early sign that Bob was blessed with a special muse was when his second-grade teacher found him sitting alone under a tree in the school yard during recess. She asked why he wasn’t with the other children and, being a precocious method actor, he replied that he was practicing being a flower, his role in the school play. A class clown and prankster, Bob was sure to enliven the school days for his teachers and classmates, though his style was cramped a bit when he got to Bucyrus High School, where his mother was secretary to the principal. Being a person with many facets, Bob was his freshman class president, DJ for the school announcements, member of the school choir, and an Eagle Scout who earned the God and Country Award before graduating in 1960.

Like a butterfly, Bob took flights of fancy that expressed his many interests and talents, and he lighted upon a variety of enterprises during his lifetime. He attended Otterbein College and, later, the City College of New York and Columbia University. His college experiences were interrupted at various times by a season as a lifeguard in Cape Cod where he saved a number of lives, a brief stint in the Army, a reservations manager for Pan American Airlines, and a partner in a small Manhattan ad agency. He spent a season volunteering at the Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital in the brain research lab working with young autistic patients, and while there, he invented an electrode helmet for which he received a patent. The head of volunteers at Flower Fifth Avenue was also Bob’s friend and played matchmaker by arranging a blind date between him and her other friend, Jonny. The date went very well, and he and Jonny married in New York City on November 25, 1977. By that time, Bob had opened a shop on Union Square to build harpsichords, which he could also play. On the side, he invented an electric piano tuner, for which he received another patent, and designed a novelty stress toy, which Jonny named the Meba, that was sold in the gift shop of the Museum of Modern Art. Later in life, Bob applied the craftsmanship and artistry he developed in building, finishing, and decorating his harpsichords to building a fine cabinet and table for his home and making gifts of Chinese brush paintings for his friends and family.

Bob returned to Bucyrus in 1981 with his wife and their first child, and there, he turned to another interest, cooking and coffee. He and Jonny opened Caravans, a little cafe on Sandusky Avenue where they introduced Bucyrus to fare such as quiche, crepes, and iced coffee. A series of catastrophes forced the closing of the cafe, and the family moved to Morral, Ohio, in 1983. There, Bob started free-lancing, writing computer code for businesses ranging from stock brokerages to lumberyards to agriculture to printer cartridge remanufacturers. He also built one more harpsichord, which of all his pursuits, was the one he loved the most and wished to be remembered for. However, he will probably be remembered by most of the people in the Bucyrus area as the purveyor of “Bob Corn,” aka Aunt Maggie’s Kettlecorn, a regular fixture at the Bratwurst Festivals, the car shows, and Col. Crawford’s Fall Festivals.

Bob had a strong Christian heritage, being a descendant on his grandmother Chapman’s side of William Brewster, the spiritual leader of the Pilgrims, and on his grandfather Haller’s side of the Rev. Dr. Frederick Conrad Haller, the pastor and leader of a group of Baptist Brethren who were banished from Germany for their religious beliefs and some of whom eventually settled in the Crawford County area. Bob was raised in Grace United Methodist Church, which was formerly an Evangelical United Brethren church founded by his grandparents. While in Morral, he attended the Methodist Church there, becoming fast friends with two of its pastors, one of whom was the son of his boyhood pastor. After returning to Bucyrus in 1992, he joined St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where he was in the choir and on occasion played its organ, which he loved as much if not more than the harpsichord. In 1999-2000, he organized and managed a classical music concert series hosted by St. Paul’s for the Bucyrus community that brought in artists from around the world. His spiritual questions led him over the course of his lifetime to explore many practices including Rosicrucianism, Zen, Greek Orthodoxy, and alchemy. At the end, however, he received Holy Communion from Pastor Mike of St. Paul’s, recited the Apostle’s Creed, and prayed the Lord’s Prayer, as if confirming the words of T. S. Eliot:

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

A private service was held on April 25 by Pastor Mike Greenler for the Price family at Wise Funeral Service. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2022 from 1:00 - 5:00 pm in Aumiller Park at Friendship Shelter #12.

Those who wish to do so may make a memorial contribution in his name payable to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church for a music fund, the Crawford County Humane Society, or a charity of their choice. Please send the gifts to Wise Funeral Service, 129 W Warren St., Bucyrus, Ohio 44820. Memories and photos can be shared on Bob’s Tribute Wall.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert A. Price, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life Gathering

Saturday, August 20, 2022

1:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Aumiller Park Friendship Shelter #12

500 Aumiller Park Drive, Bucyrus, OH 44820

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