Rebekah Barnhardt Kirkman Pritchett

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rebekah Barnhardt Kirkman Pritchett  ,March 6, 1927—October 12, 2012. Favorite educator, artist, award-winning poet and creative spirit, Rebekah Barnhardt Kirkman Pritchett, 85, of Thomaston, Alabama, passed away October 12, 2012 in the Vaughan Regional Medical Center, Selma, Alabama.

A memorial service will be at 6 p.m., Thursday, October 18, 2012 at the Thomaston United Methodist Church, Thomaston, Alabama, with the Reverend Dunford C. Cole and Reverend Randall Mims officiating.

A native of Pleasant Garden, North Carolina, Becky—as she was called by family, friends and grandchildren—was the daughter of the late Bernard Worth and Kate Hunt Kirkman of Pleasant Garden.

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A graduate of Pleasant Garden High School at age 16, she attended Greensboro College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Judson College in Marion, Alabama, and then a Master’s degree in English from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.

During World War II, her college roommate introduced Becky to the well-mannered Second Lieutenant, James E. Pritchett, a fellow Alabamian temporarily stationed in Greensboro before deployment to England. She and Jim were married August 25, 1945.

Becky was on the faculty at Linden High School, and most recently retired from Marengo Academy, Linden, Alabama, where she taught English, speech, art, drama, and Spanish. Becky brought excitement to teaching, encouragement to students and a creative approach that made the mundane interesting. She had a way of capturing children’s imaginations, taking them to see a real wardrobe as they read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, and entertaining her students when they found her on the classroom floor “sizzling and popping,” acting like bacon in the frying pan.

Becky brought interesting perspectives and creativity to most every endeavor, whether trained for it or not. She created a warm and welcoming home, designed wedding cakes, and devised a magical Cinderella party complete with a real fairy godmother for a daughter’s birthday. Once she added red ribbons and a red nail polish flower to a coffee cream container to hang on a balcony in New Mexico. It instantly attracted the tiny and beautiful hummingbirds she loved, and set an example for her family and friends that a positive attitude and indomitable spirit could get you through most any situation and make anything possible. For Becky, nothing was ever too much trouble if it put someone at ease, made someone happy or brought a smile of delight to a somber countenance.

She was a past board member of the Alabama Rural Heritage Society, Thomaston, Alabama, and the Marengo County Historical Society in Demopolis, Alabama. She was a long-time member of the Thomaston United Methodist Church, the Study Club in Linden, Alabama, and past president of Delta Kappa Gamma—Upsilon chapter, a professional honorary society of women educators.

She is survived by her loving husband of sixty-seven years, James Evant Pritchett, Sr., five children, eight grandchildren, six great-grand children, four siblings and delighted in being “Aunt Becky” to over two-dozen nieces and nephews.

Children are James E., Jr. and Paula Pritchett of Foley, Alabama, Amy Worth Pritchett of Jacksonville, Florida, Anna Gould Pritchett and Donald Gordon of Trussville, Alabama, Lora Hunt Pritchett and Randall Holcombe of Tallahassee, Florida, and David Kirkman Pritchett of Thomaston, Alabama.

Siblings are Mary Moling Kirkman Holdsambeck and the late Herbert H. Holdsambeck of Huntsville, Alabama, David Clifton and Betty Kirkman of Greensboro, North Carolina, Anna Mendenhall Kirkman Smillie and the late David Smillie of Durham, North Carolina, and Jane Baker Kirkman Smith of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Memorial contributions may be made to Marengo County Public Library, Children’s Memorial Book Fund—Rebekah K. Pritchett, 210 N. Shiloh Street, Linden, AL 36748, Joyce Morgan, 334-295-2246,, and to Delta Kappa Gamma—Upsilon Chapter, Rebekah K. Pritchett Memorial Scholarship, Attn: Leigh Griffith, Treasurer, 402 W. 5th Avenue, Linden AL 36748.