J. Richard ‘Possum’ Price

Published 12:02 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2021

J. Richard “Possum” Price was born July 28, 1939, in Vicksburg. He attended Carr Central High School where he became an outstanding lineman and was recognized as a high school All-American by the time he graduated.

He received a football scholarship to the University of Mississippi. While attending Ole Miss, he met and married the love of his life Leigh Forbes, his wife of 61 years. They spent their entire lives setting an example of what a loving relationship should be.

During his football career at Ole Miss, he helped lead his team to a 29-3-1 record, three straight bowl games, including two Sugar Bowl victories, and two national championships. He was selected to play in the 1961 Senior Bowl game in Mobile, Ala.

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Price’s 1959 football team was selected “Team of the Decade” by the Southeastern Conference. He was also inducted into the Ole Miss Hall of Fame in 1994 and presented the Distinguished American Award by the Ole Miss chapter of the National football foundation. In 2019, Price was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Counted among the highest honors of his football career was the establishment of the Ole Miss Richard “Possum” Price Courage and Compassion Award given to an upcoming senior lineman that exhibits “courage on the field” and “compassion off the field.”

After becoming a Christian in 1971, he dedicated his life to spreading the Word of God to every individual he met. He loved coaching football, fishing, hunting, golfing and entertaining others when sharing stories of his childhood. Price was also a successful businessman in insurance, oil and gas.

Through his actions, he set the highest of standards: in his relationship with his wife, daughters, and grandchildren, his work, and all his affiliations. Everyone that had the privilege to know him felt like family and was better for having known him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Ruby Price; and his sisters, Dorothy Jean Harper, Julia Trawle and Loretta Yates.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Leigh Price of Columbia; his two daughters, Latta Price (Wayne) Herring of Sandy Hook and Paige Price of Columbia; his grandchildren, Cole (Megan) Price of Columbia, Joshua (Hannah) Price of Clinton, Jennilee Price of Columbia, Wayne “Hacksaw” Herring of Sandy Hook and Clare (Tanner) Trahan of Sandy Hook; and his great-grandchildren, Richard Van Price of Columbia, Vaiden Price of Columbia and Georgia Grace Price of Clinton.

A private family service was held Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, with a public Celebration of Life to be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to Sandy Hook Baptist Church, P.O. Box 125, Sandy Hook, MS 39478 or The Salvation Army.