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Rev. Catherine Louise Price, 45, Actress at notable Chicago-area venues turned popular minister

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Oct 6, 2008, 6:13:48 PM10/6/08
Rev. Catherine Louise Price 1963 ~ 2008

Actress turned popular minister

By Joan Giangrasse Kates | Special to the Chicago Tribune
September 26, 2008,0,6264068.story

Catherine Louise Price could always connect with an audience.

A talented actress in high school and college, she cut her acting chops
at such notable Chicago-area venues as Pegasus Players, Northlight
Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre. And like many in her profession, she
took a shot at Hollywood, but while there did some soul-searching and
began focusing on her faith.

Rev. Price was ordained a minister in 1999, a path that led her first to
a congregation in Kansas City, Mo., and then back to her hometown church
in Western Springs.

It was a seamless transition from stage to pulpit, loved ones say.

"What knit the two very different halves of her life together was her
belief that at every point she was doing exactly what she was supposed
to be doing," said her brother, Jeffrey.

Rev. Price, 45, an associate pastor at First Congregational Church of
Western Springs, died Monday, Sept. 22, at her home in Westchester,
after a 31/2-year battle with ovarian cancer.

A Western Springs native, Rev. Price began attending services as a child
at First Congregational Church, where she later became an active member
of a high school group known as the Plymouth Fellowship.

After graduating in 1981 from Lyons Township High School in Western
Springs, Rev. Price earned a bachelor's in 1985 from Indiana University,
winning several awards in speech and drama, family members said.

Rev. Price began her acting career appearing at many theaters in the
Chicago area, in shows ranging from Shakespeare to musical comedies. She
moved to Los Angeles in 1992, where she continued acting in industrial
films and commercials, as well as traveling theater productions.

But in the late 1990s, Rev. Price's life took an unexpected turn when
she began her ministerial study at Fuller Theological Seminary in
Pasadena, Calif. She earned a master's of divinity in 1998, and was the
recipient of its highest award for preaching excellence.

Rev. Price was ordained in 1999 while serving at Second Presbyterian
Church of Kansas City, Mo. She returned to her hometown in 2004 to
become a full-time associate pastor at the First Congregational Church.

At First Congregational, Rev. Price coordinated arts, music and
missions, including the Festival of Arts. Her flair for the dramatic and
ability to connect with both young and older members of the congregation
made her a popular preacher as well, her colleagues said.

"She was simply a wonderful gift to our church," said Rich Kirchherr,
the church's senior pastor.

Other survivors include her parents, Val and Kathryn; a nephew, Evan; a
niece, Katherine; and a close friend, Don Miller.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in First
Congregational Church of Western Springs, 1106 Chestnut Ave.

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