Walter (Wally) Price, 68, passed away Saturday, January 26 while doing exactly what he enjoyed most, cross country skiing with friends in the backcountry south of Red Lodge.
Wally was born in Milwaukee, WI, the son of Harold and Helen Price. His love for education and athletics led to a teaching degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, where he competed on the school’s gymnastic team.
He married his wife, Becky, in 1977. Wally taught elementary PE in Billings public schools for five years. Wally and Becky’s passion for gymnastics led them to owning and operating Billings Gymnastics School for 30 years, bringing gymnastics into the lives of several generations of Billings youth. Wally never looked at the Gymnastics School as a job. “Most days, I got to play rather than work,” he’d often said.
They sold the school in 2007 and Wally turned his attention to other passions including woodworking, honing his handyman skills, traveling, fishing, visiting family and pursuing anything that would take him into the outdoors. Wally did everything at full speed, whether it was rock climbing, motorcycle riding, or just walking down a city street. Some of his favorite adventures were climbing The Bugaboos in British Columbia, a fishing trip on the inside passage in Alaska, and fishing trips in Canada with his brother in law.
Although they had no family nearby, his abundance of friends in Billings and the gymnastics community filled the void. Whenever there was a friend in need, Wally was there with a hammer, a wrench, or just an encouraging word. His excellent “fixit” skills led to numerous projects with contractors, whom considered him a friend, not a worker.
His passing leaves an unfillable void in the lives of his wife, daughter Brittany, son Jeff, daughter-in-law Kendra and sister Susie, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Services and reception will be held Saturday, February 2 at 11:00 a.m. at Harvest Church, 1235 West Wicks Ln. Memorials can be made to Billings TrailNet or Young Families Early Head Start.