|Isabel Conway Fenton-Price
Tuesday, August 02, 2011 | 02:00p.m.
St. Alban's Episcopal Church
3100 Wisconsin Ave.,NW, Washington, DC 20016
Isabel Conway Fenton Pryce, a distinguished alumnus of Washington's volunteer
community, died peacefully at the Washington Home in the District of Columbia on July 6,
2011. She was 96 years old.
Mrs. Pryce enjoyed a lifelong relationship with D.C.'s hospital community, particularly
through her involvement in the planning and building of the Washington Hospital Center,
and in later years working with the hospital's Eye Department to start a Low Vision
Support Group for their clinical patients.
A native of Salem, Virginia, Mrs. Pryce moved to the District at age two, and was a
graduate of Western High School (1933) and Wilson Teachers College. Her long
volunteer career began during World War II. At that time, Malaysian rubber was in short
supply and her first assignment was to mend surgical gloves at the Episcopal Eye, Ear
and Throat Hospital in Northwest Washington. From 1944 until 1958 she served on the
Board of the Lady Managers at this facility and while working as a volunteer she
co-chaired the opening of the first Planned Parenthood Clinic in Southeast Washington
at Parklands. Her association with Planned Parenthood at Garfield Hospital also
included participation in the Garfield Memorial Hospital's Ladies Aid. When Garfield
Emergency and Episcopal Hospitals merged to build Washington Hospital Center in
1958, Mrs. Pryce served for six years as chair of the new Family Planning Clinic.
During 12 year's tenure as Corporate Secretary for Washington Hospital Center's Board
of Trustees, Mrs. Pryce became the second woman to serve on that Board and the first
woman chair of the National Congress of Hospital Governing Boards of the American
Hospital Association. For two years during her service on the Women's Auxiliary at
Washington Hospital Center she coordinated the annual Race for Life fund raising event.
Outstanding among the many awards and honors Mrs. Pryce received was the Volunteer
Action Award for 20,000 hours of volunteer service from President and Mrs. Ronald
Reagan in 1986.
Mrs. Pryce further volunteered as Secretary to the board of the Navy Marine Coast Guard
Residence Foundation in McLean, Virginia, and for 12 years her major efforts were
devoted to the construction of the Arleigh Burke Pavilion, part of the continuing care
facility on the Vinson Hall campus. She also joined the Board of Directors of the Vinson
Hall Corporation in McLean as Corporate Secretary.
Some of Mrs. Pryce's most rewarding service was realized during her long association
with the Washington Hospital Center. She focused on Board education, using retreats as
a means of developing greater trustee awareness of patient concerns and deeper
understanding of the individual hospital programs and departments. Mrs. Pryce was
privileged to witness key changes in medical treatments during her tenure at the
Washington Hospital Center including cardiac catheterization, kidney dialysis, MedStar
and the ICU Tower, as well as pioneering programs in bioethics and quality assurance.
Mrs. Pryce was a tireless advocate for greater representation of Washington's diverse
ethnic and cultural population on the volunteer boards at Washington Hospital Center.
She supported programs to encourage greater participation from Washington's business
and young professionals on the Washington Hospital Center's Board of Trustees.
Her first marriage to Dr. Raymond Fenton ended in divorce in 1945. In 1959 she married
Navy Captain Roland Freemont Pryce who died in 1984.
Survivors include two children, Edith Margaret Fenton of Newton, Massachusetts, and
John Franklin Fenton of Bloomfield, New Jersey; one stepchild, Katherine Pryce Collins
of Ebensberg, Pennsylvania; five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, five
step-grandchildren, and eleven step great-grandchildren.
One stepchild, Ambassador William T. Pryce of Alexandria, Virginia, is deceased.
A private interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery. A public memorial
service will be held on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 2:00pm at St. Alban's Episcopal
Church, 3100 Wisconsin Avenue, Washington, DC, with a reception immediately
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mrs. Pryce's name can be made to the Washington
National Eye Center a the Washington Hospital Center at 110 Irving Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20010, or the Navy Marine Coast Guard Residence Foundation for the
benefit of the Arleigh Burke Pavilion at 6251 Old Dominion Drive, McLean, Virginia,
Arrangements under the direction of Joseph Gawler's Sons Inc., Washington, DC.