Bessie Price Owen, beloved sister, wife, aunt, and teacher of an entire community, keeper of the flame of heritage and faith, born Catherine Elizabeth to Morgan Grigsby and Linda Paine Price on September 27, 1913 on the Price farm in Montgomery, Texas. She grew up in the midst of an extended farm family with an appreciation for education and an understanding of human nature that led to a long and interesting life. Her extended family and the community as a whole mourn the passing of Miss Bessie on August 19, 2004.
Family members will be receiving friends during visitation on Sunday, August 22, 2004 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Cashner Funeral Home in Conroe, Texas. The funeral service will be Monday, August 23, 2004 from the Montgomery United Methodist Church at 10 a.m. with burial in the New Montgomery Cemetery.
Bessie attended school in Montgomery graduating in 1931, then she attended what later became Texas Womens University from which she earned a BS Degree in 1933 and later an MA Degree from Sam Houston State University. She came back to Montgomery to teach school in Dobbin from 1934 to 1949 and then Montgomery from 1949 until her retirement in 1979. During those years, she made her home with her husband, R. Smith Owen, on the west side of the Price family farm where he developed a store and raised cattle. Miss Bessie, as the community came to call her, worked not only as an English and history teacher and later as librarian, but became a noted local historian as well. She was responsible for helping to found Montgomery Historical Society which developed the now familiar Montgomery Trek and worked tirelessly to improve the community while preserving its heritage. She worked with the Texas Historical Commission to gain recognition for historic sites and buildings in and around the town of Montgomery, gaining numerous accolades for her research resulting in many stars in front of historic homes here. She was also active in the Montgomery Chapter of the Eastern Star and the Methodist Church. One of her more recent concerns is enjoyed daily by countless children and adults who stop to spend time in Cedar Brake Park, an area which reflects her recognition of the importance of nature to the human psyche. However, her greatest gift rests in the fabric of the daily lives of those she touched as a teacher. Those who may not have appreciated history or literature at first but who became interested in their own connection to it through this community and its people due to her efforts.
"Miss Bessie" is survived by her brother, James E. Price and wife Joyce of Montgomery; nephews, Jimmy M. Price and wife Donna, Tom S. Price and wife Holly, David O. Price and wife Janet all of Montgomery, John F. Price and wife Angie of Navasota, and Morgan G. Price and wife Brenda of Tomball; nieces, Catherine Price of Montgomery and Virginia Price Hatton and husband John A. of Montgomery.