HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Heavy hearts as Huntsville’s First Lady Eula Battle is laid to rest. Eula, the wife of Mayor Tommy Battle, died this week at the age of 65 from lung cancer.
Family and friends gathered in her beloved Trinity United Methodist Church before a graveside service at Maple Hill Cemetery.
“Remember the young girl running and laughing teasing siblings and playing with her friends,” said Reverend Charles Gattis. “Remember the young schoolgirl growing and maturing, studying and learning becoming the woman she is to be. Remember the young teacher thinking about her students, her role in their lives. About her career. Think of a young wife in love with a husband, wanting to do all she could possibly do to support him and care for him.”
A trail of cars filled with legislators, community leaders, friends and family left the church and headed to Maple Hill Cemetery, where Eula was laid to rest.
“In the understanding of why she was born she received a great gift and gave to us a great gift in herself. For in that understanding she became the person god created her to be.”
A wife, mother, grandmother, and so much more to so many people, Eula will be remembered for being generous, kind to everyone, and a force of good in the city. “She has fought the great fight. She has run the race, and she has kept the faith. Now she has received the crown of glory.”
For more than 30 years Eula worked in the classroom.
“All her students were special to her. Over the years, even though she had thousands of little children she remembered their names, and remembered their parents, and their siblings, and followed along what was going on in their lives.”
But she helped more than just the little ones, Eula was an advocate for her co-workers. When she retired, she became the co-founder of Free 2 Teach a nonprofit that gave local teachers free school supplies.
“One of the most generous and gracious gifts to our community that will last from generation to generation. Over the past six years Free 2 Teach has raised over $2 million dollars in supplies to Madison County teachers. What an incredible legacy that is.”
Although Eula left teaching more than a decade ago, she was still offering her wisdom to new teachers. She shared this message not long before her death.
“Know what your gifts are, recognize the gifts of your students, and bless them in yourselves and bless them in them, trust the people who love you, listen to them, believe in them. That was Eula, she lived what she said. She was authentic, in the way she approached life and the way she related to us.”