Tina Schacht passed away peacefully on February 12, 2021, at her home in Decatur, AL. Tina was a beloved mother and grandmother, and possibly the longest-serving substitute teacher at Austin High School, having taught for over 40 years until the age of 88, leaving her duties last year only because of the pandemic.
Tina was born in Penelope, TX in 1931, one of the four Foster sisters, each a determined force of nature. She attended Texas Tech University to study English secondary education, finishing her degree at Southern Methodist University after marrying Neil Schacht in 1951. Neil’s career and service in Korea took the young couple to several locations until they settled in Decatur, where they raised their family of three children and, over the years, many dogs and cats.
Tina and Neil loved to travel the world, and she continued to visit her children several times a year after Neil’s death in 2008. Tina had a quick wit, and was an avid reader who always had a recommendation for the latest good read, and shelves full of books to loan. She loved bustling about her kitchen, making the world’s best cookies while listening to opera in the background. Tina was also an artist with a needle. She knitted and needlepointed countless works of art -- blankets, bibs, and canvasses, usually for new babies in her extended family.
“Mama Tina” valued her family and community, always remembering and celebrating birthdays and anniversaries for children and grandchildren of her friends and family. She delighted in spending time with them whenever possible and was the repository of much of her family’s history. Tina also valued her many friendships, made through her neighborhood, her church, and her work as a substitute teacher. She lavished attention and care on all those she loved.
Tina was preceded in death by her husband, Neil, her son Eric, and her sisters, Maradee and Thala. She is survived by her sister Carol, her daughters Karen and Laura, and the many grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and extended family she cherished.
A funeral service was held on February 16, 2021, at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Decatur. In honor of her memory, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or to St John’s.
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