Marjo Price, nee Margaret Johanna Langrell, died peacefully at home at the age of ninety-five, surrounded by family and loved ones, on March 10, 2023. Burial services will be private at the family plot in Columbia Cemetery and a celebration of life will be held later.
She was born July 24, 1927 in Marshfield, Oregon, the only daughter of Inez Margaret Johnson and Albert Isaac Langrell. She attended public school, graduating with honors from Marshfield High School in 1945. She became president of the senior class, because all the boys had gone to World War II, thus breaking the glass ceiling early. She was a third generation Swede, her grandfather coming from Sweden and then by wagon train into the Oregon Territory. He said they would learn and speak English since they were citizens of this new country.
She attended Stephens College "back east" along with girls from Oregon and Washington, who travelled by train to Chicago and then to St. Louis where they caught the "Wabash Cannonball" for Columbia. Arriving in the car with the coal burning stove, the girls were dressed in high heels, hats and gloves and welcomed by Stephens Susie senior sisters. It was an exciting beginning of a two-year stint that found her president of her hall, Windsor (now Pillsbury) and chosen one of the 10 Ideals (Cheerfulness). After Stephens she went to Stanford University, graduating with a BS in psychology in 1949, and was active in many student activities there.
Stanford graduation led to a job in San Francisco at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, a business consulting firm, where she met many Californians and retained her earlier friendships with West Coast friends. In 1951, the president of Stephens called and asked her to come back to be his secretary, which was the beginning of the rest of her life in Columbia.
Marjo met Albert M. Price on a double date. Because they liked to dance (and their dates did not) they switched partners and so began a courtship that continued until October 11, 1952 when they married in Coos Bay. Thus began her introduction to hot summers and cold winters, beautiful springs and falls of central Missouri. She always said she was an Oregonian by birth but a Missourian by choice, a most sincere feeling.
Missouri offered what she loved most, beginning with hunting at Swan Lake Refuge and later acquiring two farms along Cedar Creek, which taught her about wildflowers, birds, deer, turkeys, quail, hardwood trees, pastures and beautiful limestone bluffs. The histories of people along the creek, which were told to her by generations of surrounding families, were tales of hardship and the Great Depression, making her ever more grateful to be a caretaker of those lands.
Over the years, Marjo was as likely to invite friends to a cookout over a campfire at Clatterbuck farm as she was to serve up a sumptuous meal in her home. The cookouts always included nature walks and a buffet of Boone County history facts.
Marjo reared three boys and was happy as a "stay-at-home Mom." She participated in many organizations, such as supporting Grant school and West Junior where her boys attended, developing a children's chapel at Calvary Episcopal Church, and starting the Art League program at Grant in the 1960s. Marjo was a member of the Boone County Bank board, Constance Emig Circle of Kings Daughters, the Katy Trailhead committee, Planned Parenthood, Stephens College Alumnae Board, Trustee of the MU Ellis Library and various civic groups. Lately her greatest civic joys were serving as a founder and Board member of Columbia Independent School and supporting the Boone County Historical Society.
When their sons flew the nest, Marjo and Al rented an apartment in San Francisco beginning in 1978 where they participated in civic activities and made many new friends. Keeping their home in Columbia, they spent several months a year there, living as locals instead of tourists.
Al and Marjo took many trips to Africa with their family. They spent time in South Africa, Botswana, Rhodesia, Kenya and Tanzania. Trips by icebreaker to the North Pole and twice to Antarctica were also favorites, along with Europe, Asia and India.
Marjo's friends cherished her many thoughtful notes of support, her invitations to "tea," where tea was rarely the beverage served and the conversation was always dynamic, ranging from personal updates to important public issues. Most of all, they appreciated Marjo's wisdom, determination and encouragement.
Marjo is survived by her husband of seventy years, Al, sons Lang, Robbie and Lake, daughters-in-law Erin, Ali and Barbara, and grandchildren Abby and Jenny, Lexi, Wesley and Caitlin, and Sterling and Oliver.
Remembrances may be made to Columbia Independent School, Columbia Cemetery Association or Boone County Historical Society.
Arrangements entrusted to Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel.
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