William Rayford Price

Portrait of William Rayford Price No Headstone Photograph Available

Full Name: William Rayford Price
Location: Section:Patriots' Hill, Section 1 (A)
Row:V  Number:9
Reason for Eligibility: Member and Speaker, Texas House of Representatives 
Birth Date: February 9, 1937 
Died: February 21, 2023 
Burial Date: March 3, 2023 

PRICE, WILLIAM RAYFORD (1937 ~ 2023). The following is an obituary for William Rayford Price, former member and speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. The obituary was published in the February 26, 2023 edition of the Austin American Statesman.

William Rayford Price died peacefully on February 21st at his home in Austin, Texas. He was 86 years old. He was known to all as Rayford.

Rayford was born in Jacksonville, Texas, February 9, 1937. He grew up in nearby Frankston where his father was owner and publisher of the Frankston Citizen. Price was the valedictorian of his class at Frankston High School in 1955 and then entered Lon Morris College, a two-year institution in Jacksonville. There, he participated in campus politics and was elected student body president. Having acquired knowledge of the printing trade through his association with the family newspaper, Price worked as a printer to support completion of his undergraduate studies at The University of Texas. He also attended law school at the university and was admitted to the bar in 1963.

Price won his first election to the Texas House of Representatives before finishing law school and represented Anderson and Cherokee Counties from 1961 to 1973. He held a leadership position every term he served in the house, including a stint as chair of the Committee on Contingent Expenses his freshman term. He was later named chair of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments and then became head of the Committee on State Affairs. In 1972 Rayford Price was elected by the house to serve as Speaker.

As Speaker, Price initiated a set of reforms in the house rules. The reforms included a reorganization of standing committees, the implementation of a limited seniority system, and the placement of various restraints on the power of the conference committees.

Ending his political career in 1973, he moved to Dallas and partnered with Ray Hutchison to form the law firm that eventually became Hutchison, Price, Boyle & Brooks. There, he specialized in municipal bond law. In 1982 he moved to Austin and founded the law firm of Rayford Price & Associates.

Rayford was a loving husband and father who had a smile that rubbed off on all he met. He was deeply loved by his family and respected by his peers.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Quanah and Vaye (Baker) Price, and his brother Grady. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara (Ashley) Price, his two sons - Brandon and Brett Price and his daughter in-law, Diana Martinez.

A memorial service will be held at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin on Friday, March 3rd at 11:00 a.m

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the following organizations: American Lung Association, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, or The University of Texas School of Law.


#8842) Served in the House during the 57th-61st sessions.
Entered by Administrator on 2/1/1998 12:11:28 PM

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