Eston Elzie Price, Jr.

Eston Elzie Price, Jr., passed away peacefully at age 84 on October 15, 2023 at Evans Memorial Hospital. He was born to Eston E. Price, Sr. and Virginia Mathis Price on August 20, 1939 in Sandersville, Georgia. Eston graduated from Tennille High School and joined the United States Marine Corp after graduation. He met Mattie Ann Johnson and married in 1958. After marrying, they moved to Santa Ana, California where Eston was stationed at El Toro Marine base. Their daughter Holly was born in 1960 in Orange, California. After his tour of duty was completed at El Toro, they moved back to Eston’s hometown of Sandersville where their son Trey was born in 1965. Eston and family returned to Santa Ana in 1966 so that he could attend college on the GI Bill. He enrolled in California State College where he obtained a Bachelors of Business Administration degree. He once again returned to his hometown of Sandersville where he accepted the position of Assistant Administrator at the local hospital. In 1970, Eston accepted the position of Administrator at Evans Memorial Hospital in Claxton where he served for 33 years. Soon after accepting the position, he enrolled at Georgia Southern College where he obtained his Masters of Business Administration degree. During his tenure, Eston undertook four major expansion projects to include a second nurse’s station and patient rooms, emergency department with specialty clinic, a new labor and delivery unit with operating room and Jack Strickland Rehabilitation Center. Eston had an “open door” policy while at the hospital where doctors, employees, patients and families were welcome to come in and voice their concerns, grievances and suggestions as well as their appreciation. He knew every employee and most of their families and walked the halls frequently checking on them and the patients. He was a man of great integrity and compassion for his fellow man. Eston retired in 2003 after a bout with cancer. He and Ann began to travel more from their home in Claxton to their house in Mountain City and to the farmhouse in Oconee. Eston was admitted to Evans Memorial Hospital in Claxton on October 6 after a brief illness. He was treated and cared for by skilled professionals, some of whom were hired by Mr. Price. His life had come full circle as he felt very comfortable being surrounded by his immediate family and his second family, EMH employees, during his last days. Eston was a member of First Baptist Church of Claxton and served as Deacon for many years. He was a member of Rotary International and had served as President. He enjoyed collecting classic cars and trucks and was a member of Evans County Classics Car Club. Eston continued to be involved in the life of EMH by serving on the Evans Memorial Hospital Foundation Board for the past five years. He was preceded in death by his father, Eston E. Price, Sr. and stepmother, Eunice Tyson Price; mother, Virginia Mathis; and stepfather ,Willie E. Hodges. Surviving are his wife, Mattie Ann Johnson Price of Claxton; daughter and son-in-law, Holly and Earl Hutto of Oconee, Georgia; son and daughter-in-law, Trey and Jenny Price of Claxton; grandchildren, Melissa Morgan, Evan Hutto, Anslee and Walter Price; great-grandchildren, Kearstin, Landon, Peyton, Eli and Savannah; step-sister, Cecelia and Ronald Brett of Sandersville, Georgia; nieces, Rhonda, Regina, Kim and Krista and their spouses. Visitation will be held Tuesday, October 17, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. at J. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, October 17, 11:00 a.m. at J. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. David Daus and Dr. J.L. Adams officiating. An additional visitation will be held Wednesday, Oct. 18, 12:30 until 1:30 p.m. at May and Smith Funeral Directors in Sandersville, Georgia. Graveside services will be held Wednesday, October 18, 2:00 p.m. at Tennille Zeta Cemetery, Tennille, Georgia. Pallbearers will be Evan Hutto, Peyton Morgan, Landon Lambright, Steve Boatright, Shannon Knight and Heath Smith. Honorary pallbearers will be current and former employees of Evans Memorial Hospital. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be made to: Evans Memorial Hospital, P.O. Box 515, Claxton, Ga. 30417; First Baptist Church, P. O. Box 607, Claxton, Ga. 30417; and Evans County CARES, P. O. Box 186, Claxton, Ga. 30417. Mellie NeSmith Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.