Banking on patriotism and volunteerism: Linda Price

If it has something to do with the Greater Georgetown Chamber of Commerce or the Wings & Wheels festival, Georgetown Boys & Girls Club or other happenings in and around Sussex County’s county seat, chances are Linda Price is somehow involved.

A New Jersey native who came to Sussex County via Key West, Florida, Ms. Price is an active community volunteer with a patriotic heart.

“I am very patriotic,” she says proudly.

Ms. Price is chair of the Wings & Wheels: A Georgetown Fall Festival, chairwoman of the board of directors for the Georgetown Boys & Girls Club and a member of the Georgetown/Millsboro Rotary Club.

A year ago, she was honored as the Town of Georgetown’s 2014 Volunteer of the Year.

She is employed as Branch Manager for Fulton Bank on U.S. 113 in Georgetown.

This week’s Person to Know: Linda Price.

Q & A Linda Price

Linda Price

You grew up in a military family?

“I was born and raised in New Jersey; born in Fort Dix and grew up in Monmouth County, which is close to Asbury Park. My dad was in the military; the Army for 30 years – stationed in Fort Monmouth in Eatontown. Other than a few tours elsewhere we primarily lived during his time in and around the Eatontown area: me, my dad, my mom, brother and sister. We were lucky enough that my grandmother and grandfather lived in Eatontown as well. He was a 30-year Army as well.”

You came to Delaware via Florida?

“I have been married twice, both from New Jersey. My last husband was a police officer in New Jersey, 25 years on force in Lakewood, N.J. When it got time for him to retire … he gave me an option which was: go south to the warm weather or north to Vermont. We had a blizzard that year and I said, ‘I am hardly going to go to Vermont.’ So we ended up in Key West, Florida.”

You’re a banker, by trade?

“I started working in the banking business in New Jersey. I have been in the banking business for 30 years. I continued my career and in Florida had opportunity to go to the University of Florida with the Florida’s Bankers Association. I graduated with a banking degree. I am a Gator.”

“We lived 13 years in Florida. We moved back home only because my husband had Parkinson’s disease. We had been here vacationing many times from New Jersey; we used to come across on the ferry. We came up here and checked it out and did some job searching. I actually interviewed in Key West for a job in Delaware. I started working for PNC, and went from PNC to Delaware National, now Fulton Bank.”

Besides civic and youth organizations what other volunteering do you do?

“A lot of volunteering I do is for the Town of Georgetown, with a lot of their community events that they have here; the summer concert series and we are in the process now of planning New Year’s Eve on the Circle. I do a lot with my community.”

Your patriotic passion has family ties?

“My grandfather, he served in WWII. My father was 30 years Army. He served in Korea and Vietnam. So military is something that has always been very near and dear to my heart.”

“In Key West we were right next to the air station. We used to go end of the runway and watch F-14 planes take off and land. It would kind of take your breath away.”

Talk about Wings & Wheels, which has evolved into one of the marquee festival attractions in the region:

“I took over as chairperson of Wings & Wheels the third year. I have been serving on the Chamber board for some time. I honestly at that time didn’t know what the event was. I had been there helping with the Boys and Girls Club … but had not really got myself immersed in the whole aspect of what Wings & Wheels was about. The first couple years it was a learning experience. Wings & Wheels has three components: the Chamber, the Wheels That Heal Car Club and the Delaware Aviation Museum.”

“I knew about Larry Kelley, who owns the B-25 bomber and is the director of the Delaware Aviation Museum. But Larry had his way and Linda had her way. We kind of butted heads initially the first couple of years, until we sat down and talked with each other and kind of realized that we were basically trying to do the same thing. Our heads were in the right place for what was really important.”

Talk about your trip through the Delaware Aviation Museum:

“It really takes you back into history. It mostly revolves around WWII. You can see Larry’s passion for that B-25 bomber and his association with the Doolittle Raiders. I have learned so much more from him. He has so many contacts. I have met people here that I don’t think I would have ever had the opportunity to meet. I’ve met retired Tuskegee Airmen, retired brigadier generals that were integral in World War II. I’ve met our large contingent of WWII reenactors and their mission to really save and educate of the military history, especially revolving around WWII.”

And there is a special Wings & Wheels VIP?

“One of my most distinct pleasures is the privilege I have had of meeting Lt. Col. Dick Cole, who just turned 100. I saw the movie, ‘30 Seconds over Tokyo,’ and never in my wildest imagination would I have ever dreamed that I would be in the same place with the guy who was the co-pilot to Jimmy Doolittle in the first plane.”

“I am military buff but I don’t think I would have delved into the significance with it had it not been for Larry and the museum and meeting Dick. I have always been so honored to meet these people.”

How about the festival’s role in showcasing WWII?

“World War II, our veterans are such a dying breed. Their stories are dying along with them. It is important to teach young people about our history, so much of that has gone by the wayside. As these people are dying it continues to get kind of buried, I guess.”

“From year to year I have tried to find takeaways from Wings & Wheels because it such a huge undertaking. I think it was probably the second year, James Diehl got involved with it. He documented a lot of WWII veterans in this area. We incorporated a living history portion of Wings and Wheels.”

“Listening to their stories and hearing what they went through and listening to these gentlemen who would never consider themselves heroes but knew that they had a job to do and would do it over again if they were asked to do it really kind of cemented in my mind why I feel such patriotism and how important what my grandfather and my father did were so important. Now it became something I wanted to do for them.

“Both of them are gone now but I end up every year and look to the sky and say, ‘I hope I did you proud.’”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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