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Teresa Diane Scroggins Richburg, a resident of Blue Ridge, Alabama, passed away Monday, April 24, 2023, at the age of 71.  She was born October 18, 1951, in Tallassee, Alabama to James Douglas and Adna Earle Meadows Scroggins.

After graduating from Tallassee High School in 1970, she began her academic work at Alexander City Junior College.  In 1972, at her graduation, she was awarded the Outstanding Student of the Class.  She continued her studies at Auburn University.  In 1973, she received a bachelor’s degree with honors in Sociology.  She then served as a social worker with the State of Alabama for several years.

Her passion for education led her to pursue graduate work and teach English classes at the University of Alabama where she was accepted into the Master of Fine Arts Program in Writing. In 1983, she won a writing contest and the comment on her poetry was “She is bold.”

She then attended Auburn University in Montgomery, where she earned her Teaching Certificate.  She began teaching English at Robert E. Lee.  She found her true passion was her students.  Her students earned numerous writing awards during her tenure.  Kristi Skipper, one of her most beloved students, wrote “She was always smiling, and she made learning so much fun! She taught me so much about creative writing and encouraged me to hone my writing skills. Because of her, I won two awards that year - one for literary magazine layout, and one for a short story. She believed in me, and that made all the difference.”

She initiated a Community Service Writing course for adults outside of regular hours which brought her much joy.  She encouraged her adult students as well, many of whom were also recipients of numerous state and local writing awards.

She was the first teacher at Robert E. Lee to become a National Board-Certified Teacher.  She was a member of Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers and was honored as Teacher of the Year.

She remained at Robert E. Lee until she retired.  She was inducted into the Robert E. Lee Hall of Fame in 2019. 

After retirement, she bought a home in Blue Ridge where she lived with her beloved dogs, Fritzi and Maisie.  She described this as the “most peaceful time of life.”

She is survived by her mother, Adna Earle Scroggins; daughter, Manderley Richburg Cooley (Chris); granddaughter, Emma Cooley; Uncle, Robert J. Meadows; Cousins, Donnie Meadows (Debbie), Beth Meadows, Margaret Thomson (Danny), Judi Meadows, Sandra Meadows, Billy Meadows (Robin), Jimmy Meadows (JoAnn) and Rebecca Hess (Mark) and beloved students, Kristi Skipper, Michael Pass and Jason Allen.

She is preceded in death by her father, James Douglas Scroggins; uncles, Berry C. Meadows, James Jack Meadows; and Aunts, Eloise Bridgman, Emogene Jones, and Dorothy Gauni.

Active pallbearers will be Scott Hasson, Chase Owens, Calen Jones, Corbin Bartgis, Harry Turner and Jon Davis.

The family will receive friends Tuesday, May 2, 2023, from 10:30 until service time at 11:00AM at Jeffcoat Funeral Home. Graveside services will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Online condolences available:

Jeffcoat Funeral Home Directing - Tallassee, Alabama