Dr. Pryce Hurley, 84, died on February 15 at Asbury Park in Newton after a brief illness. He is survived by 3 daughters: Susan Yoshiwara of Denver, CO, Shelley of Blanco Texas, and Shawn of Newton; a son, Lance of Livingston, NJ; 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by Lorene, his wife, and Lindall, a son.
Dr. Hurley was born in Leonardville, KS and attended school there. He then entered Kansas State University. He interrupted his college education for a 2-year hiatus to serve as an MP in the US Army with the US Occupation Forces in Japan. He returned to Kansas State to continue his pursuit of a degree in Mining Engineering, but after meeting and marrying Lorene decided to pursue a career as a dentist. After graduating with his D.D.S. from the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 1955 he was in private practice in Stockton, KS from 1955 to 1964. He moved his family to Newton, KS in 1964 and set up a practice there which he continued until 1996. In 1996 he took a position as a dentist with the Kansas Correctional Facility at El Dorado, KS. He left there in 1998 to begin working for Renaissance Management Company for whom he traveled to area nursing homes to provide onsite dental care to their residents. In 2000 he returned to work for the Kansas State Correctional System, this time at their Hutchinson, KS facility.
A consistent theme running throughout his years practicing dentistry was a passion for excellence in General Dentistry and continuing education. In the early 1960's he joined a group of dentists from across Kansas in founding the Great Plains Dental Study Group. He continued meeting with this group for over 30 years for regular continuing education meetings. He eventually earned his Fellowship and Masters Designations through the Academy of General Dentistry. He was also instrumental in assuring quality of dental care, working with the Kansas Legislature to create a peer review process to handle patient complaints of poor care.
Concerned over the emphasis of specialists in the American Dental Association versus the needs and concerns of general dentists, he led the founding of the Kansas Chapter of the Academy of General Dentistry. He was also active in the Region 12 leadership of the Academy and eventually the National leadership. Offices in the state, regional and national Academy include President of the Kansas Academy, Vice President of Region 12 and Speaker of the House of the national Academy. For his work with the prison and aging populations, Dr. Hurley received Humanitarian of the Year awards from the Maryland Academy of General Dentistry, the National American Dental Association and the National Academy of General Dentistry.
In addition to his dental career, Dr. Hurley spent many years with his wife and children involved in 4-H, showing purebred Shorthorn and other breeds of cattle. Over a period of 20 years the family fed, groomed and showed steers and breeding stock across the state of Kansas and other states including County Fairs, the Kansas State Fair, the Wichita Junior Livestock Show, the Mid-America Fair, Aksarben, and shows in Phoenix and Chicago. The family enjoyed a great deal of success, showing many champion steers and heifers during that time. During a portion of this period he served as a Leader for the Macon 4H Club in Harvey County. In 2011 he and Lorene were named to the Wall of Honor by the Kansas State Fair Association.
As a young man Pryce was a superb athlete, excelling in basketball and baseball. He played for the Manhattan Ban Johnson baseball team and was a member of K-State's basketball and baseball teams. When living in Stockton, he coached the town's American Legion baseball team and later coached youth baseball and basketball teams in Stockton and Newton. He was an avid follower of his beloved Kansas State Wildcats for his entire life.
Throughout Pryce's life the most important aspect of his life was his family. He remained involved in his children's and grandchildren's lives at times coaching their athletic teams. However, nothing was more important to him than attending their games, plays or concerts where he would offer encouragement and praise for their performances. Until the end of his life, he took great joy in his family and nothing brought a smile to his face more quickly than hearing news of his grandchildren or great-grandchildren and their accomplishments. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Persons wanting to make a memorial donation can make one to the Ahearn Fund supporting Kansas State University Athletics. http://www.ahearnfund.com/
A memorial service will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday February 20, 2013 the First United Church of Christ, 210 E. 4th St., Newton, KS.