Price, Earl Mason

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Earl Mason Price, 85, of Christiansburg, passed away at his home on Saturday, March 4, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, Oliph Oren Price and Lois Louverie Reed; his wife, Wilma Odham Price; son, Earl Larry Price; granddaughter, Lexie Elizabeth Stump; and his brother, Charles Price, Sr.

Survivors include his daughter, Lori Christine Price (Brian Barrett); grandson, James Mason Stump (Charles Edmonds); special niece, Catherine Linkous (Damon); brothers, Henderson and Robert; sister, Nancy; and many other relatives and friends.

Earl lived a full life. He loved his family and friends. Earl worked his entire life in the construction field. He worked on many local historical landmarks but enjoyed cabinetry the best.

The last few months were hard on daddy. He lost his son and most of his lifelong friends. Yet he found happiness in spending time with his daughter, Lori, and her husband Brian, cooking and going on local adventures.

I would like to share one of those times, something I lovingly call “Fruitcake for Earl”.

The goal was to make a fruitcake for Christmas, “Just like mom used to make”, Earl said. This meant we started prepping for the big bake in November. He went to Wal-Mart and bought 100 bucks worth of everything candied or dried. He was so proud of the variety of nuts and fruits he found. I was also impressed!

The adventure started out the Sunday before we began the actual mixing of ingredients. A ten-gallon Ziplock bag was used to “marinate” the fruit. We had so much fruit it took 2 bags. Then the next week we mixed all the wonderful spices and fruit. It was so thick the mixer stopped several times, and each time daddy took the opportunity to, “taste the progress” and he would say “add a little more this or that”. Eventually we were able to satisfactorily mix all the ingredients.

Then the real work started, getting the 8 pounds of mixture into 1 cake pan. I brilliantly said, “I don’t think it will rise much lets just use the one big Bundt pan.” Sure sounds great, well this cake had to cook for 4 hours, so I went home. The next day I went to check on the status of our masterpiece. Well, it had exploded like something from James and the Giant peach. But in true daddy fashion he told me, “That’s ok sweetie it just gives us more edges.”

Next, we reconstructed the fruitcake, in the middle of the Bundt cake daddy placed a small glass of rum, “to marinate the cake”. The cake had to be wrapped and stored for a least a month. On Christmas day we enjoyed the fruitcake. It was not our best recipe, but daddy loved that fruitcake and as his close friends know he tried to make everyone eat that fruitcake. Fruit cake that weighed 8 pounds.

I wish I could say that was the only time my dad ate something horrible we cooked. But it reminds me that we all have edges, and it’s the not so great times you get to decide, decide if you are blessed with extra edges or if you’re a falling apart fruitcake. Daddy was an extra edges kind of guy.

We also filled the time with stories. Wonderful stories about his years in the service. About all the adventures and unusual places his commitment took him. Daddy took such pride in his service to his country and proudly wore his Korean Vet hat every day!

Earl also loved sunshine! Being out in the yard growing random things like rhubarb, side note we never have got the dang thing to produce. It will be so lonely tending vegetables and mowing the yard without him. I know he lived a long life yet doesn’t feel like long enough. It seems that I was just getting know Earl, the real Earl. The one that loved his kids so much that after 70 years of drinking everyday quit cold turkey, “because I want us to be able to have Sunday dinners”. The one that loved me unconditionally even when I didn’t. I am thankful to God for his blessings of the last year with EARL MASON PRICE: Daddy, soldier, friend, cook?

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Friday, March 10, 2023, at the Mullins Funeral Home in Radford. A graveside service will follow at 1:30 p.m. at Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Christiansburg.

The Price family is in the care of Mullins Funeral Home & Crematory in Radford, Virginia.