In Memory

Carl Albert Priest

Carl Priest passes
Surrounded by loved ones, Carl Priest passed peacefully yesterday, August 18, 2008 at 4:15 PM at St Mary’s Hospice in Athens Georgia.  
Yesterday was a story-book ending to a remarkable man’s life.  At age 86, after complications from a recent surgery, Carl’s family moved him from St Mary’s Hospital to its new Hospice facility on Jennings Mill Road.  Carl Priest passed in the presence of Sylvia, his wife & best friend of 62 years, two of four sons and one of many grandchildren.  All four sons, grand children, sisters, nieces, nephews and friends have been present over these last several days to say goodbye.  
His room was full of the unconditional Love and essential grounding Carl so freely and consistently bestowed over his life.  The Thankfulness we all feel is truly palpable.
Our Hearts wail in  harmony - - Singing that  song of Deep Gratitude.   Carl was a gift to everyone who has been blessed to know him and to many who have not.   Husband, father, minister, teacher, musician, Humanist, philosopher, activist, pacifist and to some a Loving Saint.  
Through her tears of grief and gratitude, Carl’s wife Sylvia exclaimed – “What a gift these 62 years have been, I have been so fortunate, so blessed to be with so kind and loving a man.  I have not lost a thing.  Carl will always be with me.”
There will be a formal memorial service this Sunday at the Athens Unitarian Church.   Carl and Sylvia’s wish is that rather than flowers, donations be made in his memory to either the American Civil Liberties Union, The Nature Conservancy or Saint Mary’s Hospice.  The memorial web page is at
If you would like to post, please send an email to
Deeply Grateful
Glenn Priest

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03/02/09 08:02 PM #1    

Pattie Rappley (1971)

Dear Priest Family,

I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. Priest was a wonderful teacher and a greaat man. I will always cherish fond memories in his classroom.


Pattie Rappley
SPHS class of 1971

02/23/10 12:47 AM #2    

Derek Gene Bird (1977)

The "Priest Family". Now there's a big group. I knew
Mr Priest, and went to school with two of his sons. Carl and Kieth. He played a Paternal role in the life of hundreds of kids in South Pasadena. A person who could find the time to lend an ear in a moment of adolescent need. He wouldnt just ship you off to your guidance counselor. Instead he chose to search his heart and mind for the right advice. He became the foundation for a lot of right decisions! I am the very best in the world at being me. Becoming who I am is a direct result of my exposure to people like Mr. Carl Priest. Dont worry, guys. We'll all see him again at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

With all my heart,

Derek Gene Bird, SPHS 1977

06/26/10 11:02 PM #3    

Cecil McLain (1967)

Dear Priest Family,

I just found out that Mr. Priest passed away.  I am so sory for your loss and wanted to let you know how much I thought of him.

Mr Prist was my swim coach only in spring of 1967, becouse  I only went to "South Pas" for one year. Because my parents moved a lot, I ended up going to 4 different high schools.  I went out for sports at each school and was on Swim team, Cross Country team and Track team , so I had 3 or 4 coaches every year of high School. But Mr Prist was the only one I remember and the only one I really respected. I still laugh, rembering all the swimmers piling into Mr Prist's station wagon, over loading the station wagon down to the springs, to go over to the pool. I left South Pasadena right after graduation and never got back again, but I always wanted to go back and thank Mr Priest. He was a great man.


Cecil (Mac) Mclain

SPHS Class of 1967

01/05/11 01:22 PM #4    

William P 'Mike' Weible (1970)

 Here's what I will always remember about Mr. Priest.   I was the fat kid - bad eyesight and no coordination of any kind.  Mr. Priest gave me the opportunity to be the "Swim Team Manager" our junior year (1971).  At one practice at the YMCA, I decided to "swim" the lane dividers from one end of the pool to the other.  He complimented me on my "style and speed" (I'm sure it was sincere but about as inaccurate as you could get...).  

But it was inspiring.  I went on from there - it took some time, but over the years I completed three Marathons (Chicago, LA and San Francisco) and dozens of Half-Marathons, 10k's, etc.  Mr. Priest was the only teacher/adult in my school life that ever offered me any type of athletic encouragement, and I think, ultimately, it made a difference.  I don't "run" much anymore, but still jogged seven miles New Year's Eve.  Not bad for a 58 year old.  Thank you, Mr. Priest, for the kindness and pure generosity of spirit.  Kent, if you are out there, you have so much to be thankful for in your Dad.   weible

08/28/11 02:47 AM #5    

George Keith Ainsworth (1968)

i swam only one year 68 but mr priest so impressed me as a human being i called him up years later to ask him to marry my wife and i , he was out of that business he told me. quite possibly the nicest person i ever met.i read cecil's comment above,last time i saw him he was just back from viet nam...glad to see he's still around...I taught for 34 years.. guys like mr priest ,mr cooney, mr penn were my role models..that year on swim team led me to a job as a la co life guard /pool manager for 7 years that paid my way thru college, i still swimm 2000 m ..three days a week and was a swimcoach priest lives on in all his students..we couldn't have done better...with much regards GEORGE AINSWORTH

01/05/12 07:54 AM #6    

Alexandria Leigh Fabbro (1982)

Ah, Mr. Priest.  I remember reading your obit years ago and didn't write anything then, but I feel compelled to now in this new year.  What I recall specifically was your patience and firmness is guiding Junior Statesmen of America.  We tried to pull so many stunts behind your back, especially when we travelled, but you never lost your cool when you discovered our tricks and you turned it into a teachable moment.  I think about that a lot these days since I just switched careers and am teaching high school and chaperoning various events.  You're a terrific role model for me, and I just want to express a very belated thanks!

04/17/12 07:31 PM #7    

Jacqueline 'Jackie' Turney (Halpin) (1978)

One of the nicest and sweetest men ever. I have many memories from his English class. What a gentle soul. God bless him!

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