Obituary of Naomi Elizabeth Price
Naoma Elizabeth Patrick Price died in Houston, TX on November 3, 2022. The daughter of the late Charles Francis Patrick and Viola Hampton Patrick, Naoma was born in the small coal-mining community of Palmer, TN on October 2, 1921. Her family on both sides have resided in the mountains of Grundy County Tennessee at least since the early 1800’s. Her father was the Pay Master for the Tennessee Consolidated Coal Company in Grundy County. The third of four children, she had three sisters: Frances Patrick Long, Christina Patrick Walker and Juanita Patrick Bishop, all deceased. Naoma attended Grundy County High School where she played basketball and was selected as an alternate for the All-State basketball team. She was called “Lanky Jane” by her classmates because of her tall height and slim frame. She attended Martin College in Pulaski TN with a basketball scholarship where she met her mate for life Elbert Willis Price who was also attending Martin on a football scholarship. After Martin College she attended Middle Tennessee State and, after becoming a grandmother, finally graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in early childhood education. She married Sargent Elbert Price USAAF in 1943 while he was stationed in Massachusetts. After the war they lived in Knoxville TN while Elbert got his engineering degree; they then moved to Chattanooga where they lived and raised their five children. Except for while Elbert was stationed in the Pacific Theater during the WWII, they were together until his death in 2006
During the war while Elbert was in the South Pacific Naoma taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Coalmont, TN. She founded the kindergarten program at her United Methodist church in Chattanooga, directed several kindergarten programs and was the Director of Early Childhood Education for the Chattanooga Dept. of Human Services. In the 1970s Elbert and Naoma moved to Indiana following Elbert’s promotion. After retirement they briefly moved back to Palmer, living in the old homeplace while they built a log home in Chattanooga next to their daughter.
Naoma had many interests after retirement. She studied Art at Chattanooga State Community College and took up playing the guitar. She spent years teaching art classes for the Life Program at Christ United Methodist Church. Naoma (known as Grannypoo to her numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren) was also an avid storyteller, a talent she inherited from her father. The small-town life of raising chickens and cows, long walks in the mountains and childhood adventures has been the source of many tales. Children often begged her to tell stories about growing up in Palmer. The favorites are “Ichabod the Hairless Chicken”, “The OOGA Story”, “Buying Ice Cream” and of course the tale of “The Whistling Jack”. Her book “Chigger Town Corner” tells the story of life growing up in the Tennessee Mountains and is registered as a historical document at the Historical Museum in Tracy City Tennessee.
Naoma was preceded in death by her husband Elbert Willis Price, her son Patrick Michael Price, grandsons William Hampton Price Lewis and Geoffrey Scott Lewis and granddaughter Brittany Price. She is survived by four children: Robbye Price Petty Lewis, John Elbert Price (Xiang Qun), Brian Wesley Price (Lindy), and Timothy Scott Price. She will be greatly missed by her grandchildren: Christa Petty, Adrian Champine, Nicholas Lewis, Angele Price-Maddah, Westall Finley, Luis Finley, Dempsey Finley, Edward Finley, Patrick Price, Beau Price, Alana Donald, BJ Price, Benjamin Gause and Keller Gause. She is also mourned by eight great-grandchildren, many nephews, nieces and a legion of other relatives and friends.
(This obituary was adapted from a Rambling Oaks Assisted Living newsletter article)
Funeral arrangements by Layne Funeral Home, Palmer, TN. Funeral Thursday, November 10 at Palmer United Methodist Church, 2101 Main Street, Palmer with visitation starting at 9:30 CST, service at 11:00 CST. Burial following ceremony at Fall Creek Cemetery, Hwy 108, Gruetli-Laager. Floral tributes may be sent to the funeral home. Local florist Rock Creek Florist 931-779-6337. For those preferring a memorial donation the family suggests contributions to the Cornelia deLange Syndrome Foundation. Send via interland3.donorperfect.net or going to www.cdlsusa.org