Community mourns two educators|Bracken helped teach generations
By By Lydia Grimes
and Lisa Tindell
the brewton standard
From teaching young girls at W.S. Neal High School the proper way to prepare a meal to helping parents of all ages learn about child care, Peggy Bracken’s teaching will be remembered and passed on for generations.
Bracken, who came to Brewton in 1950, passed away at her home Sunday after an extended illness. Funeral services are planned for today at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Brewton on Belleville Avenue.
Vickie Fussell, director of Hope Place, said Bracken’s vision was the beginning of wonderful things for many people.
Karen Cottrell, Bracken’s daughter, said her mother was dedicated to her job and groups she was involved in over the years, taking time off only for the birth of her children.
Bracken grew up in Clarke County and attended college at Auburn. Following her graduation, she moved to Brewton to teach home economics at W.S. Neal High School. While there, she met and married Myron Jackson Bracken, Jr. in 1952. The couple had three children, Karen, John and Melissa.
After retiring from her teaching position, Bracken began a career at the Alabama Cooperative Extension System as an agent. The position held by Bracken would later be filled by friend, Carolyn Bivins.
The job Bracken held for 30 years as a county agent was one filled with teaching in the form of classes in cooking and general housekeeping, Bivins said.
Although her career in teaching and as a county agent were a large part of her life, Lanette Lowery said her friendship was one that many in the area have cherished for years.
Amid her final retirement in 1991 as a county agent, Bracken began a program called “Partners for Tomorrow,” as a way to present parenting classes to the community.
Bracken was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Brewton where she was teacher of the Lydia Ladies Sunday School Class for more than 50 years. She was also an active member of the Escambia County Historical Society and the Meadorwood Garden Club.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Bracken, and a brother, John D. Gill of Walker Springs.
She is survived by a son, John (Bonnie) Gill Bracken of Lakeland, Ga.; two daughters, Karen (Danny) Cottrell and Melissa (Wendell) Ray, both of Brewton; five grandchildren. Timothy (Julie) Cottrell, Mathew Ray, Peggy Ellen Ray, Laura Bracken and Ben Bracken; and one great-granddaughter, Hannah Cottrell.
Funeral services will be held today at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Brewton. Burial will follow at Green Acres Cemetery with Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home directing.