OBITUARY

Clift Price MD

February 8, 1924February 19, 2021

Pinckney Clift Price was born on February 8, 1924 in Bonham, Texas to Lucie Clift and Pinckney Bryan Price, and died on February 19, 2021 at Westminster Manor in Austin, having recently celebrated his 97th birthday via Zoom with his large loving extended family.

Based on the tradition over four generations of the Price lineage, the first born male child took the first name Pinckney and then his mother’s maiden name as his middle name: Clift. During a family move to Vernon, TX, however, at the age of 14, he asked everyone to call him Clift instead of Pinckney due to the intolerable nicknames he endured at school. Dad said thankfully, from then on, he was known as Clift Price. The large extended family cherished him as a child in Honey Grove and then around Texas and Arkansas as the family moved with his father’s work as a highway construction engineer. Clift’s father, Pinckney Bryan, had a degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University, where his Dad was also a popular Yell Leader and member of the Aggie Corps. Eventually Clift was blessed with a younger brother, William Henry, and sister, Nancy Ellen.

During the depression, in 1938, the Price family moved to Dallas, where he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1940, and then moved to the north university area of Austin, where he and his siblings would be near enough to walk to the University of Texas. At the age of 16, Clift entered the University of Texas at Austin where he excelled academically on the pre-med GI Bill and graduated in 1943. At UT Clift was a member of Alpha Phi Omega, Tejas Club, Texas Cowboys, and was elected to the Friars Society, after being named one of four Outstanding UT seniors due to his excellent scholarship and campus leadership. Clift met his first love, Gloria Verre Coryell, in 1943 at a dance at Gregory Gym where a skinny man with a fabulous voice named Frank Sinatra performed. Clift and Gloria dated steadily until they married on May 8, 1945. While attending UT, upon learning of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 Dad said, “Every able bodied young man volunteered for service as soon as possible. I had to wait until the spring of 1942 when I turned eighteen.”

After medical training at UT Medical Branch, internship in Philadelphia, and pediatric residency in Galveston, Clift served as a Navy medical officer on a troop carrier and one of only two doctors on a battleship during the Korean Conflict. When his tour in the Navy ended in March 1953, Clift and Gloria and their two children Bradley Bryan and Priscilla Coryell returned to Austin where he started his pediatric practice, joining the Children’s Medical Center on West 30th. In Austin the family grew to include a new daughter, Nancigale Price, and a new brother, Lewis Clift Price. In 1977 after 24 years in private practice he left to become the chief of Texas Maternal and Child Health, and later Associate Commissioner of Personal Health Service for the Texas Health Department (1980-1990). During this period, Clift traveled to Russia and China where he met with other doctors and instructed them on more hygienic modern practices and, in turn, learned about successful Far East medical practices such as acupuncture. Upon his retirement from the Health Department, Clift went on to do pro bono lobbying for the Texas Pediatric Society (1990-1997) during which he continued his lifelong efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of all Texas children. During his pediatric practice, Clift help lead Austin’s campaign to fluoridate the city’s water supply. This science-based practice met with great resistance as a supposed example of government overreach. At great personal expense, Dr. Price persevered, finally got it approved by the city council and Mayor Roy Butler. Within a year, children in Austin began to have fewer cavities.

After 36 years of marriage, Clift and Gloria divorced but remained good friends and shared frequent family reunions, birthdays, graduations, and other meaningful life events. He later married Suzanne Cahoon Arnold in 1983. This happy union blessed Clift with three loving step-daughters: Suzanne Arnold Veselis, Donna Arnold Winstead, and Annie Arnold Lancaster.

During his long and distinguished career focused on child and maternal health, Clift helped lead memberships in the following organizations: Longtime elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church and many year active member of Tarrytown United Methodist Church; Texas Medical Association, American Medical Association, Travis County Medical Society (President 1968-69), Texas Pediatric Society (President 1975-76), American Board of Pediatrics, Fellow American Academy of Pediatrics, and Fellow College of Physician (Philadelphia). Clift believed deeply in volunteer and community service and led by example. Consequently, he served on many other Boards in Texas including CEDEN Family Resource Center (President, 1986-89), Center for Child Protection, (1996-2000), Any Baby Can Foundation, Austin Parks Foundation, (1992-95), Barbara Jordan Foundation, Texan’s Care for Children Association, Texas Pediatric Society Foundation, SAGE Lifetime Learning (Chair), Westwood Country Club (Charter member), Tarry House, Austin’s Commodore Club, and Headliners Club. He was a founding member and past president of the Austin University Rotary Club and past District Governor Rotary District 5870. As an example of his lifelong focus on children’s health, Clift worked for years to help the Rotary Club build a tuberculosis clinic in Reynosa, Mexico, and early on in his career volunteered to care for children with polio at the Gonzales Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital. Another powerful force in Clift’s life was his deep dedication to improving literacy for all children. He was a founding member of the BookSpring Board – which eventually merged with Reading is Fundamental (RIF). Clift was proud to have helped start Reach Out and Read, (1990-1995) where he gave young children a book and a prescription to their parents’ to read every day to their child. Many pediatricians across Texas and the US now follow this practice.

Clift was also a big believer in the life sustaining benefits of regular and vigorous exercise. He and some close friends were the first to jog on the Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail. He was a charter member of Westwood Country Club where he regularly played tennis (well into his early 90’s), swam and lifted weights (practices he continued until just last year at Westminster). Clift was also an avid sailor and was a founding member of the Austin Yacht Club and past Commodore where his beloved Ensign sailboat is still moored. Another powerful force in Clift’s long and wonderful life was devotion to all things UT and burnt orange. He was a Life member of UT Ex-Students Association, season ticket holder for 7 decades of the UT baseball, basketball, and football. As he lay dying, his loving family all flashed the Hook ‘Em Horns sign, sang the Eyes of Texas, and the Texas Fight song, as he tried to raise his fingers too. Our father was also a world class traveler – having visited six of the seven continents. And even after surviving a near fatal car crash eight years ago, he and wife Sue were able to wave to Antarctica from their cruise ship as they rounded Tierra del Fuego on their final overseas trip.

Dr. Price was predeceased by his first wife, Gloria Price Pfluger, grandson Price Malone, brother William Clift Price, and sister Nancy Price Bowman. He is survived by his wife, Sue Cahoon Arnold Price, sons Bradley Price (Inez) and Lewis Price (Joany) and daughters Coryell Price Malone Duty (David), and Nan Price Cardiel (Miguel); three step daughters, Donna Winstead (Jim), Suzanne Veselis (Bob), Annie Lancaster (Charlie); eight grandchildren: Patrick Malone (Jocelyn), Stephen Price (Medwyn), Matthew Price, Paige Higman (Marty), Fran Cardiel, Josh Price, Meredith Massey Kloetzer (Justin), Madeline Massey Carl (Ty); eight step grandchildren: Sarah Lancaster and Charlotte Russell (Michael), Dr. Clinton Veselis (Bridgette), Meaghan Veselis, Ashley Veselis, and Skyler Veselis, Christopher Winstead (Shauna) and Catherine Winstead; four great grandchildren: Carlos Price, Pearl Price, PJ Malone, and Holly Malone; one step great grandchild: Rhys Winstead and much loved nieces and nephews. The events of recent months during the pandemic should serve to remind us all what Dr. Clift Price taught so many--to live each moment we have in life to the fullest, to be resilient, and to find the silver lining in every cloud we face. He was blessed with the ability to always be alive in the present. He delighted constantly in the big and small things in life - a daily sunset, a billowy cloud, a juicy hamburger, or a crisp, cool dry martini. If every person in this great country of ours were as kind, empathetic, and generous as our father, Dr. Clift Price, we would all be more dedicated to caring for each other and the world would be a better place.

There will be a private graveside service for the family on Saturday, 2/27/21 at 3:30 PM at Austin Memorial Park. Pall bearers include: Bradley Price, Lewis Price, Stephen Price, Matthew Price, Josh Price, Patrick Malone, and David Duty. We will hold a virtual public memorial service in his honor at 3PM on Saturday, 3/6/21. The link and livestream will be available at tumcaustin.church/funerals.

In place of flowers, please send memorial donations to: Reading is Fundamental: rif.org Reach Out and Read: reachoutandread.org Rotary Club Foundation, Austin University Area: bseals@flash.net Austin History Center: PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768-2287

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Lewis Price, Active Pallbearer
  • Brad Price, Active Pallbearer
  • Stephen Price, Active Pallbearer
  • Matthew Price, Active Pallbearer
  • Patrick Malone, Active Pallbearer
  • Dave Duty, Active Pallbearer

Services

LIVESTREAM SERVICE
6 March

Virtual Memorial Service

3:00 pm

www.tumcaustin.church


Memories

Clift Price MD

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Camille D Miller

March 6, 2021

I worked w Clift on public policy issues impacting children in Texas for many years. Even after he retired from his state health department job, he joined Texas Health Institute in our policy development projects to have an impact on improving the health of children in Texas.
I was a founding member of the Capitol Rotary Club that he and several other Rotarians sponsored and started downtown.
When we both were retired and living at Westminister, Clift served on our Hospitality Committee and we had many hallway and swimming pool conversations keeping up with mutual friends.
I will miss him.
Bill and I send condolences to his family.

Vicki Kidd

March 6, 2021

I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved father.

William Twombly

March 5, 2021

THANK YOU DR. PRICE!

YOU SEWED ME UP IN 1969 AFTER A SELF-IMPOSED SLIP ON THE EASTWOODS PARK MONKEY-BARS. YOU WERE VERY GENTLE, AND KIND, AND SKILLFUL. MY FACE EXPRESSES MY JOY

Emily Ball Cicchini

March 5, 2021

Honoring BookSpring Champion Dr.Clift Price

Clift was so committed to the idea that reading books together created a lasting bond between parents and their child, and was as concerned about emotional as well as development and academic benefits. We will all miss him dearly.

The BookSpring Family

Anne Dunkelberg

March 4, 2021

I wanted to share with Dr. Price’s family that in addition to knowing him from Westminster Presbyterian and attending school with Nan, I also had the pleasure of working with Dr. Price in his important work advocating with the Texas Legislature for health care for all Texas children. The statewide Children’s Health Coverage Coalition will share remembrances of him at our upcoming March meeting. Anne D.

Stuart Reynolds Phd

March 3, 2021

Early in my career I met and admired Dr. Price and he supported my endeavors listed below. He was always generous and a real mover of positive legislation.
He is my definition of a humanitarian, community health and volunteerism.

Stuart Reynolds Phd
Former Health Director. Child Inc/ Austin Head Start
Former Program Analyst Sunset

Libby Doggett

March 3, 2021

I worked with Clift Price decades ago when he was instrumental in starting our Texas Early Childhood Intervention program. Without Dr. Price we wouldn't have been one of the first states to get this program up and going. In fact, the federal program learned many lessons from our Texas model. Pediatricians are often a special brand-- they love children, value families, want to help, and understand that children's health and success is impacted by many community factors. Clift Price embodied these traits only magnified many times over. The world and especially Austin was enriched by his presence. He will be missed. I particularly will miss him.

Andrea Angelo

March 3, 2021

Clift was such an amazing mover and shaker in our community, especially with his devotion to BookSpring and its literacy mission. He will be missed but will live on through his good works and our loving memories.

The BookSpring Family

Darla Brasfield

March 2, 2021

I will alway remember when we all got togeher for the Old Timers BBQ in the spring there in Austin. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to sing with Dr. Price and Walter Lemons for couple of songs. Those are wonderful memories I will always hold near and dear to my heart. Please accept my heart felt sympathy for the family and friends of this great humanitarian.

BRUCE FULLERTON

March 2, 2021

Clift was my pediatrician when he had his practice on West 30th Street with Dr. Hanna and Dr. Kelton. My Mom worked part time keeping books for him. I also knew him from the Tejas Club. Clift made a very positive impression on me as a kid as he did up until the last time I saw him at Westminster.

My condolences to his family. He was one of those great people you meet that you never forget.

FROM THE FAMILY