Mike was born in Lansing, Michigan on November 4, 1942 and passed away on September 26, 2010.

Mike graduated from East Lansing High School in 1961 and attended Michigan State University the following year. He took an early interest in theater lighting and sound and worked with the Community Circle Playhouse in Lansing, WJIM Television and later at Michigan State University Wharton Center, Michigan Folk Festival and many other venues.

Throughout his life Mike was a passionate supporter of civil and human rights from early involvement with Mississippi Freedom Relief and marches with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Mike was one of the founding members of S.D.S. (Students for Democratic Society) and led antiwar efforts during the Vietnam War through to opposing the Iraq War in the last decade. He became a mentor to the younger activist community in recent years supporting The Northstar Center in Lansing. He will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

He is survived by his mother Mrs. Betty Price, brother Tom, sister-in-law Cynthia and nephews Bergen and Sawyer.

A memorial service will be held at The Wharton Center, Pasant Theatre, on Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Northstar Center or the Betty Price Retail Management Internship Endowment at MSU. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.

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3 Messages to “Michael D. “Mike” Price”

  1. 3
    Barrie Elizabeth O'Brien Says:

    I am Alan O’Brien’s sister. I dated Michael during the summer after I graduated from high school in 1963. Not long after I moved to California where I still reside. I remember him as being an intense, sensitive and very caring person. From my perspective there was always a special connection between us even though we never directly spoke of it. I felt it again when we visited four summers ago.
    I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to see him one more time as well as to spend a very engaging time with his mother Betty.
    By the way Michael used to motorcyle out west from his home in Michigan – many years ago we got to see each other again on one of his trips. At the City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco he was known as “motorcyle Mike” and you could go in there and ask if they’d seen him lately and they all knew who you were talking about.
    My deep condolences to his family and friends -
    Barrie Elizabeth O’Brien
    Monterey, California

  2. 2
    Alan O'Brien Says:

    Mike and I go way back, to grade school at Central School in East Lansing. I was born a few months after Mike in 1943 and went through school with him. I got to know him much better when my family moved into his neiborhood the summer before entering middle school and of course, we knew each other in high school. We were ‘shirttail’ relatives, non-blood relatives, and I was related to the Boettchers in the same manner, and Betty Price was a Boettcher before her marriage to Don Price, Mike’s father. I remember Don very well. I have been inside their house on innumeral occasions in my teen years, Mikes bedroom being above the garage, and the house being designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is quite an unusual house in its layout and design and its landscaping.

    Mike’s early ambitions was to become a magician. He greatly admired Houdini…but I do not think he ever really followed up on doing magic shows. I best remember him from our college days at Michigan State. He was an anti-Vietnam war activist…as was I. Mike managed to avoid the draft by passing out communist literature at his military physical for the draft. I am not sure how much he believed in communism at the time…but he was definitely committed to ending the totally senseless war in Vietnam. He was beyond passionate about it. He knew a lot about SDS, students for a democratic society. Myself, I ended up doing two years alternative service to the draft as a conscientious objector. I also marched on Washington against the war in the fall of 1969 and saw how close this country was coming to total anarchy. I saw the famed Weathermen marching in Washington and the DC police, 4 in a car, traveling down back alleys at high speed and slowing for nobody. If you were in the way, you were dead. They were ready for us, we demonstrators, with snipers located on all the rooftops and halftracks ready to come out on the streets in case it was needed. Fortunately, that did not happen…but it was far from a peaceful demonstration. Tear gas was being sprayed all around. We ducked into a restaurant to avoid some of it sprayed in our direction. Mike missed that one, to my knowledge, but would have been there in spirit. Partly inspired by anti-war people at MSU that he knew, I wrote a Conscious Objector application based not on religion, which was a necessary pre-requisite at the time, BUT in objection to a specific war. I explained I was not a pacifist…but this war was totally senseless. I used the Nuremburg trials of the Nazi ringleaders and their ex post facto condemnation and sentencing of their actions for my defense. I also used the United Nations declaration of human rights. I won my CO status before my local draft board in Lansing, but a black civil liberties lawyer, a member of the ACLU, hearing of my petition, and known by friends of Mike, told me that if I was not given CO status, he would take the case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, for free. I have a great passion for human rights myself…and that is why I feel a special kindred for Mike and was very saddened by his passing. Further, I think history has shown the majority now just what an utter waste that war was and its main architect, Robert McNamara, Kennedy’s secretary of Defense, later admitted same in a book he wrote. Had JFK lived…Vietnam would have never escalated the way it did. JFK had too much sense to fight communism half way around the world in a jungle warfare. He also knew that the Vietmanese people had successfully fought the Chinese for centuries…and that they were a great and resourceful adversary, which proved to be true. All of the world’s greatest superpowers strategies failed. Only using the atomic warheads would have broken their will but that insanity fortunately never happened, though many advocated it.

    My sister, Barrie, and I had visited Mike and Betty, Mike’s mother, along with my then 14 year old daughter Michelle, four summers ago. Betty kindly took us out to dinner at the Kelloge center. Unfortunately, Mike failed to join us. I would have appreciated catching up with him but such was not to be the case. Betty was already in her 90s and going strong, the archetypal retail salesperson who specialized in the highest quality merchandize and always dealt with people in a most respectful manner. I knew her mother, Carlotta well, as the Boettchers took me in when my parents died while I was still in high school. Mike was very, very close to his mother…and took care of her in her old age although she is the most resourceful and independent of women.

    Mike was truly his own person…hard to understand in many ways, but very passionate about things he believed in. I am a student of spirituality…and have had innumerable personal experiences of same…and I can say that he definitely goes on…in a more refined body, as we all will…and I look forward to seeing him again in his new guise. Thus, while saddened by his death…for we were much alike in certain ways…I know the truth…which isn’t religious, but spiritual…we are all in reality spiritual beings and thus immortal.
    There is no death…it is an illusion.
    Alan O’Brien
    New Port Richey, FL

    Mike and I both attended Michigan State University.

  3. 1
    Matt Ellsworth Says:

    As a fellow Stagehand, I always marveled at Mike’s knowledge and he served as a mentor to so many of his IATSE brothers and sisters. He was a man who love his family, his craft, and his passion for human rights. Mike Price lived his life the way he wanted and isn’t that what we all strive to do? It’s funny that Mike always preached about investing in gold gold gold! lol Who would have known how right he was and now I wished I would have listened to him!! My condolences to the Price family – I’m saddened that I could not be there to honor him properly. Mike, you have positively affected many lives including mine and I am grateful to you. Much love and peace to the Price family. Matt Ellsworth – Destin FL, mattellsworth@cox.net

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