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Tupelo-Laurita Leslie Hawkins Teague was born February 27, 1949 in Tupelo, Mississippi. She was raised in the Fawn Grove Community of Itawamba County. Laurie graduated from Mooreville High School and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Mississippi State College for Women (The W) where she was a member of the D’Belle Social Club.
She was a beloved teacher in the Tupelo Schools teaching 7-12 grade art at Carver, Milam, Lawhon and Tupelo High School. A fiercely independent spirit, she was a great encourager of all her students and friends. In retirement she wasn’t slowed down by her debilitating back injury. Laurie could be found arranging flowers, selling art, completing a myriad of projects from the mundane to the fantastic for she was an appreciator of the quotidian aspects of life making them more beautiful whenever possible.
Once the legendary actor, Cary Grant, sat on her desk (she loved to tell that story) and she was even featured on national television dancing with a Scottish Country Dance Group. She was a long time volunteer at TCT and the Gum Tree Arts Festival. Laurie was a loyal and thoughtful friend, her porch light was always on and everyone was welcome to come sit a while as many a world problem was solved rocking away the hours on her porch. She was the keeper of stories and our family as well as others have lost our historian. She loved Tupelo’s history and was instrumental in getting her neighborhood designated an historic district. She faithfully sang with the neighborhood Sacred Harp “Sunday Sing Along’s” at the home of Tom Evans and nothing delighted her more than hosting “drinks in her driveway” on a cool summer night.
She was a lover of all things beautiful…she collected kaleidoscopes and prisms because she loved color and delighted in watching the light do its thing. She loved outdoors and watching the changes in the weather. She loved flowers and birds but fought valiantly against the squirrels who overtook her bird feeders and yard. Her artwork concentrated on botanicals and people- both whom she loved. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church and for many years coordinated the knitting group. Laurie was a sometimes rule breaker but never at the expense of anyone’s dignity and, most definitely, not if it broke the rules of design. Her entire life she was a creator and crafter, knitter, costume maker, seamstress, painter…a true artist.
She taught her daughters and just about anyone who would listen about
good design (form always follows function); -lessons like how to cheer for college football; accessories, hats and costumes are always a good idea; never to call home when Duke basketball was on television; life is too short to waste your time reading bad fiction; everyone needs a day off from school or work for naps and reading good books;
anyone can make beautiful things grow in the dirt; if you don’t know the names of the stars in the sky just make some up; music is always best on vinyl records or sung with family; one should always know how to converse on a myriad of topics; strays should always have a home; never miss the opportunity to cheer for the underdog; there is no such thing as too much when it comes to Christmas decorations; presents should be beautifully wrapped; thank you cards must always be sent; the best movies are always musicals; traditions matter even the silly ones; one should never miss a parade or meteor showers or Fourth of July fireworks; older homes are better because they have soul and character; great food is only great when shared with others; family is important even when you aren’t sure you even like them; the power of the widow’s mite; faith is to be lived out and no one needs to see you serving and loving your neighbor- just do it; never miss an opportunity to visit a cemetery- you never know who you will meet there; and never ever forget the importance of setting aside housework for great adventures even if they were just long drives on the back roads of Lee and Itawamba Counties.
A service of Resurrection will take place at 3 PM Friday, November 5, 2021 at First Presbyterian Church in Tupelo. Burial will follow in the Hawkins family plot in Oak Grove Cemetery in the Ratliff Community of Itawamba County. Visitation will be from 1PM-2:45 PM Friday prior to the service in McFadden Hall. Holland Funeral Directors is honored to be serving their friends.
Laurie was preceded in death by her parents, aunts (The Hawkins Sisters), sister, Phyllis “Mama Phil” Harper and best friend, Gail Teague. She is survived by siblings, Jane Talbert (Mike), Ellen Hawkins and brother, Royce Hawkins (Billie).
her daughters: Rev. Anghaarad Teague Dees (Zane) and Bronwyn “B.J.” Teague;
stepchildren, Kerri Roper (Richard), Billy Teague (Edith) and Bobby Teague.
extra daughter, Clara Seitz, a myriad of nieces and nephews, The Wrens, and all her many students for she was always a teacher even in retirement.
A Loyal Daughter of the Long Blue Line, the family asks that gifts be given in her honor the MUW Class of 1971 Scholarship, 11 College St. Columbus, MS. 39701. Condolences may be e mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org