Corinth attorney remembered for education role

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By Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – One of the founding members of the modern-day Mississippi Board of Education will be buried today in Corinth with military honors.

James E. “Jimmy” Price, 87, died Saturday at Magnolia Regional Health Center.

The longtime Corinth attorney was serving as board attorney for the Corinth School District and Alcorn County School District, among others.

“Jimmy Price was a brilliant lawyer who knew and cared a great deal about public education,” said Jack Reed Sr. of Tupelo, who served on the state board with him starting in 1984. “I personally admired him very much and depended on his good judgment a great deal when I was chairman of that board.”

Mississippi voters had approved a constitutional amendment changing the board from the elected superintendent of education, attorney general and secretary of state to an appointed citizens’ board.

It was during Price’s tenure on the state board between 1984 and 1992, that Corinth School District Superintendent Lee Childress first met him.

“I was working in the state Department of Education at the time he was on the state board and that’s when I first got to know him,” Childress said. “We renewed our acquaintance when I came to Corinth, and he has served the citizens of Corinth and the citizens of Mississippi well. In Corinth, he was a board member and board president, as well as board attorney for many years.”

Price served his country during World War II in the U.S. Army, was a graduate of the University of Mississippi Law School, and a Rhodes Scholar at St. John’s College in Oxford, England from 1950-1951, before returning to practice law in Corinth.

In 2011, he was honored by the Mississippi Bar Association with the Lawyer Citizenship Award.

“The Alcorn School District has lost an ethical man that guided the district with wisdom of educational law and a compassionate heart for children,” said Alcorn County Superintendent Gina Rogers Smith. “During difficult times he had the ability to offer calm and logical advice to whatever situation. Mr. Price exemplified the meaning of a Christian man that walked with faith. I will truly miss his calming nature and comforting guidance.”

Services are planned for 3 p.m. today at First Baptist Church in Corinth. His body will lie in state from 1 to 3 p.m.

Survivors include his wife, Doris Brown Price, and four children – James E. Price III, Deborah Brunt, Karen Butler and Judy Lilly.

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com