Cornella D. Price, a longtime teacher at the former Glann School in West Toledo, died Dec. 19 at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center following a heart attack in her home on Forest Avenue. She was 86.
Mrs. Price was one of the first black teachers at Glann and for years was the only African-American on the faculty, according to her son, William Price, Jr.
Family members said Mrs. Price started teaching in Toledo Public Schools about 1962 or 1963, beginning as a substitute. One of the schools she taught in was Pickett Elementary. She taught at Glann until about 1980, the year the school, at 1700 North Reynolds Road, closed, Mr. Price said. She took a leave of absence to care for her daughter, the late Alneda Renee Price, who had become ill with multiple sclerosis, and did not return to teaching. Alneda Price died in 1985.
"It took a toll on her. She gave up everything to take care of my sister," Mr. Price said.
According to Mrs. Price's daughter, Yvonne Price, her mother taught before she and her husband, the late William Price, moved to Toledo from their family home in Cleveland, Miss. She said her mother received a degree in home economics at what is today Tennessee State University, in Nashville, and then taught in Mississippi. She said her parents were married in Memphis and moved to Cleveland, Miss. They then moved to Toledo about 1953 because they weren't earning enough to support their growing family.
Mr. Price got a job at the main U.S. Post Office and she raised children, while also returning to school at the University of Toledo to get a degree in elementary education. "She was there for everybody. Everybody loved our mom. She was our best friend," Ms. Price said. She said her mother's main interests were cooking and her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta. She said her mother didn't want to leave the house after a while.
"She loved Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween. She enjoyed looking at the kids with their costumes. She enjoyed Easter," Ms. Price said. "My mom enjoyed life."
"That was our rock, and I really don't know how I'm going to make it without her in my life. We've been so blessed to have her all these years," Ms. Price said.
She said the family often spent summers in Cleveland, Miss., with her grandmother. Ms. Price's father, William Price, died in 2001.
Ms. Price said her mother didn't discuss school issues at home much, other than to tell her children, "Anybody that wanted to become a teacher -- they had to be dedicated, they had to have patience."
"She loved teaching. Anything she could do to better her classroom -- that's what she did," Ms. Price said. "She would come home on Christmas and would have at least two nice-sized boxes of gifts from her class and the kids she had taught before."
Mrs. Price is survived by her sons, William, Jr.; Ronald; Lawrence, and Vincent; daughters, Yvonne Price, Earnell "Lady" DuHart, and Rheta Clark; 22 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday in the C. Brown Funeral Home Inc., 1629 Nebraska Ave. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul AME Zion Church, at Belmont and Hawley streets.