Dr. Betty Jean Tucker

Published 1:08 pm Friday, October 5, 2018

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Dr. Betty Jean Tucker, 87, died peacefully in her sleep at her home on Oct. 3, 2018. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 6, 4 p.m., at Linden Baptist Church with Dr. Billy Harris officiating. Burial will follow at Linden Memorial Park with O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Homes directing. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church.

Dr. Tucker was preceded in death by her husband, William Howard Tucker; her parents, William Newman Foxhall and Adelle Yates Foxhall; and her brother, Jolly Jeff Foxhall.

She is survived by her sister, Louise Brackin of Magnolia Springs; her son, Dr. Ken Tucker (Mary) of Livingston; her daughter, Tracy Lill (Randy) of Gulf Shores; grandchildren Corey Lill of Mobile, Jake Lill of Gulf Shores, Allison Brantley (Shawn) of Demopolis, Kimberly Poorbaugh (Tim) of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lara Tucker of Alexandria, and Rachel Boyd (David) of Hoover;  great-grandchildren Maggie Brantley, Leah Brantley, Kenzie Brantley, Taylor Boyd, and Daniel Boyd; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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Dr. Tucker was an Emeritus Professor of English at the University of West Alabama where she served as chair of the Department of Languages and Literature for 20 years.

Dr. Tucker earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Montevallo, a master’s at UWA and a doctorate at the University of Alabama. Prior to her tenure in Livingston, she served as a Linden High School English teacher and a Birmingham Post-Herald reporter. An award-winning writer, she published her first short story at 19, and she published her first novel, “On a Darkling Plain: Stories of the Great Depression” in 2014 at the age of 83.  Her latest book, “Swift:  God’s Knight-Errant,” was just recently published by the Livingston Press.

A recipient of the William E. Gilbert Award for Outstanding Teaching, she implemented the University’s journalism minor, established a nationally-circulated literary magazine, revitalized the theatre program, founded the Livingston Press and made the division’s writing lab a model for other Alabama universities. A member of UWA’s prestigious Society of the Golden Key, she retired in 1987.

The Betty Jean Tucker College of Liberal Arts Conference Room was dedicated in 2009. Each year, scholarly awards are presented in her name to student writers who excel in creative and technical writing.

Pallbearers will be Billy Kirkham, Thomas Boggs, Bobby Digmon, Donny Etheridge, Shawn Brantley, Steve Tucker, Marvin Tucker, and Thames Gandy. Honorary pallbearers are David Wycoff, Sylvia Gilmore, her former Linden High School students, Senior Citizen’s Center, and former Livingston University (UWA) students.

Dr. Tucker was a faithful member of the Linden Baptist Church, the Study Club, the Garden Club, and the Senior Citizen’s Center. She dearly loved her family, her God and her church, her community, and her craft. She was the consummate professional who positively impacted literally thousands of people through her teaching and writing.

Condolences may be offered at www.obryantchapelfh.com. Flowers will be appreciated or memorials may be made to the Linden Baptist Church or UWA’s Livingston Press.