We're learning more about an outpouring of support for Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle after losing his wife, Eula.
Eula Battle was a lifelong teacher, mother and community leader. Her husband, Mayor Tommy Battle, announced that she died Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
Eula Battle's legacy will live on in Huntsville for generations to come. As an educator, she spent more than 31 years in the classroom cultivating young minds.
In 2000, she was named Madison County Teacher of the Year for her outstanding service and dedication. In 2010, when the state legislature severely cut the education budget, eliminating hundreds of dollars for supplies for teachers' classrooms, Eula Battle took action. She co-founded Free 2 Teach.
Her nonprofit supplies free school materials for local teachers. It has distributed more than $7 million in supplies to Huntsville-area educators to date.
"I would love to think that Free 2 Teach has helped out," she said. "Our main focus is to get supplies into the hands of children who cannot afford it but also take that financial burden off of teachers."
Eula Battle was born in Huntsville on Sept. 29, 1955. In 1973, she graduated from Huntsville High and earned a degree in elementary education.
Once Eula retired from public education, she went on to support and teach an academic program focused on students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. Eula found this role especially rewarding, given her own journey in managing dyslexia.
Eula's focus on education also influenced a mayoral initiative, The Mayor's Book Club, where she championed businesses to fund more than 100,000 books for students in Title One schools.
Friends and family tell us they will miss her gregarious spirit, robust laughter and fierce devotion to family and friends.
Eula Battle is survived by her husband, Tommy Battle, son, grandsons, brothers, sister, 12 nieces and nephews, countless teachers, students and a community to cherish her memory. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that memorials are sent to Free 2 Teach or Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville.
I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Eula Battle. She was a loving and supportive wife to Mayor Battle, and as he refers to her, his “best friend.” I extend my deepest sympathies and prayers to their family in this hard season. #alpolitics https://t.co/sgXJqKOoIy
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) October 20, 2020
The Tennessee Valley lost one of its most dedicated community leaders with the passing of Eula Battle. Eula devoted her life to teaching and provided her students with valuable lessons that they carry to this day. Kendall and I send our prayers of condolence to the Battle family. pic.twitter.com/7LQH8TPoMn
— Will Ainsworth (@willainsworthAL) October 20, 2020
Condolences to HSV Mayor Tommy Battle on the passing of his wife, Eula. Mrs. Battle taught in MCSS for 22 yrs & after her retirement, continued to support education through Free2Teach. We admired her dedication to ed. & community. Our thoughts & prayers are w/the Battle family.
— MadCoSchools (@MadCoSchools) October 20, 2020