Mr. Price S. Summerhill of Abbott died Tuesday, February 10, 2015, from complications of Alzheimer’s. Price is survived by his devoted wife, Josephine (Josie) Berger Summerhill; loving daughter, Dawn Summerhill Gulley and husband, John F. Gulley; and several nieces and nephews, including Mitchell R. Milner and Dacia L. Milner, son and daughter of Lucille (Lucy) Berger Milner and Jerry M. Milner.
Price graduated as valedictorian from Abbott High School in 1949, then attended Tarleton State College and Texas A&M University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture education. While at A&M, he was in ROTC and graduated as a second lieutenant. He married Josie in 1953. Price joined the Air Force following graduation from A&M, in which he proudly served for 20 years as a helicopter pilot in air rescue, retiring with the rank of major. Early in their marriage, Josie’s younger sister, Lucy Berger (Milner), came to live with the family upon the premature death of both of her parents. Price and Josie became Lucy’s legal guardians and raised Dawn and Lucy during Price’s military career.
Price served tours of duty in Greenland, Vietnam and Thailand. Stateside, he was stationed in several Texas locations, Florida, Michigan and Utah. He was also stationed in France and England.
Price flew fixed wing aircraft for three years, then flew helicopter aircraft for 17 years. He loved flying; he was an instructor in the USAF Helicopter School and taught many young lieutenants to fly. He commanded Air Rescue detachments on five different military bases in the United States and overseas and served as Aircrew Standardization Officer for Helicopters in the USAF Helicopter School. He and those under his command risked their lives to save downed pilots in Vietnam in the worst imaginable circumstances. Only in recent years would Price mention the horrific scenes he and fellow helicopter pilots encountered while stationed in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service, Air Force Commendation Medal and Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding meritorious service. Following retirement from the USAF, his love of the land and his heritage brought Price and Josie back to Abbott. They entered agribusiness, which included both farming and raising registered Brangus cattle.
Price valued the hard work of his parents and grandparents. There were many days he hand fed calves, unfroze drinking water for cattle during the winter and assisted cows with the birthing process. Price and Josie would herd and vaccinate cattle and attend to their health needs. Days were long and hard, but Price did what he loved doing. Price was outgoing and personable. He greatly enjoyed the associations with his cousins, other relatives, friends in high school and college, his Air Force companions and friends in agribusiness. Price was an officer and a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He honored business commitments by handshakes and stood firm for his beliefs.
Price will be laid to rest at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery with full Air Force military honors.