Don Price, former Custer Fire Chief dies

February 15, 2013


Donald Price, aged 88 of Ludington, longtime resident of Custer, died peacefully on Thursday, February 14, 2013 with his beloved wife by his side. Don was born on May 4, 1924 in Flint to Hiram and Edith (Henson) Price and graduated from Yale High School with the class of 1942. He moved with his family to Custer in 1943, and on November 5, 1949 married Rosalie A. Boyer at the Bachelor Christian Church. They have celebrated 63 years by each other’s side.

Don and his father purchased the Shell Gas Station in Custer in 1952, and thereafter he became known as Hi-PRICE-Don, a takeoff from their proprietor sign that hung above the door to the station. Don was a well known fixture in the Custer community where he wore many different hats over the years. He served the Custer school district as a bus driver and custodian for 20 years, was the Noble Grand of the Custer International Order of Odd Fellows, a past Master of the Fountain Grange, a member of the Pamona Grange and Drill team, was a charter member of the Custer Lions Club, and was Clerk of the Custer Village council. He was best known for his 52 years of service to Custer and Mason County as a Fireman. Don served as Chief of the Custer Fire Department and as Assistant Chief for Mason County, and was also trained as a Fireman with the United States Forest Service. In later years, he was a proud member of the Custer VFW Post 5096 Auxiliary, and often served on the Honor Guard detail. He and Rosalie loved to travel, spending winters in Haines City, Florida, and were members of the Good Sam Travel Club of America. He and Rosalie were very active in 4-H, the Custer PTA, and Booster Clubs. In his spare time, Don enjoyed woodcarving, and attending his grandchildren’s many activities.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, and his sisters Betty Faltinek and Claribel Brunner. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife Rosalie, his daughters Lynn Marie (Larry) Lada of San Antonio, Texas, Lesa (Mack) Dipple of Custer, Rhea (Mike) Blodgett of Portage, his grandchildren Michelle (Carlos) Ramos, Jennifer (Mike Taylor) Strejcek, Stephanie (Josh) Peters, Stephen and Jonathan Dipple, his great-grandchildren Nathaniel, Trenton, Malakye, Mariana, Ashley, Jared, Quentin, Kyle, and Brandon, his sisters Ila (Orval) Smith of Custer, and RuthAnn (Curtiss) Berndt of Free Soil, his brother-in-law Louis (Lucille) Boyer DVM, his sisters-in-law Marian Riffle, and Judy (Karl) Schmiege all of Ludington, and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held for Don at 1:00 PM on Monday, February 18 at the Stephens Funeral Home in Scottville, with Rev. Norm Letsinger officiating. Friends may meet with his family for a time of visitation on Sunday from 2:00 – 5:00 PM at the funeral home. Those who wish to make memorial contributions are asked to consider the Custer Fire Department, Hospice of Michigan – Mason County, or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Please visit Don’s personal memory page at to sign his guestbook, or to leave a memory of Don for his family.

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