Robert Lynn Tettleton died at the Mississippi Veterans Home in Oxford on Sunday, December 29, 2013. He was born in Ruston, Louisiana on December 23, 1929. His family immediately relocated to his home town of Farmerville, LA where he graduated from Farmerville High School in 1946. He received his BA degree in 1950 in Art Education from Louisiana Tech University. After completing his undergraduate degree, he accepted his first academic position as a teacher of art and music at Stephen S. Douglas High School in Port Arthur, Texas.
He received his Masters degree from Louisiana State University in Educational Administration and Art Education in 1953. Later he completed advanced graduate study at New York University, University of Florida and Louisiana State University in advanced painting and art education, studying under several renowned painters.
During the Korean War he was assigned to the U.S. Army National Honor Guard as a Corporal, Washington, D.C. , for two years, and had many outstanding experiences serving and receiving presidential and diplomatic air arrivals and parades.
After his military career he was instructor in Art, one year, establishing a recognized program in art at Northeast Louisiana State College, Monroe, LA. It was here that he met his wife of 58 years, Mary Sue Pylant, instructor in the Home Economics Department and Manager of the college food service. They were married in Coushatta, LA on November 24, 1955, in the First Methodist Church.
In 1961, after a brief interruption in his teaching career, he went to the University of Florida, Gainesville, for the following four years. For two of these years he traveled extensively across the state teaching art education evening classes.
In 1965 Robert was hired as Chairman, the Department of Art, University of Mississippi, were he served for 12 years, during a period of much growth in the Art department, increasing the number of graduate students receiving degrees, and the number of faculty members, as well as the number of majors offered in the department. Later he taught courses in Art Education, Painting and Interior Design. He retired in 1995, but continued teaching on and off campus classes until 2000.
Due to his support of Art Education in the classroom he received numerous awards and recognition of his service in the area. The Mississippi Art Education Association named him Art Educator, recognizing his years of service in 2001. He helped establish art activities for the Very Special Arts Festival held annually at North Mississippi Regional Center, by the North West District Coordinator, in 1988. The University of Mississippi presented him with his 25 year Service Award, by the Ole Miss Alumni Association.
He held membership in the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and was faculty advisor.
Since moving to Oxford in 1965 he has been a member of Oxford-University United Methodist Church he served many years as an usher, and was a member of the Double Circle Sunday School Class. Many years he served on most major committees including the Trustees and Finance, and later was Lay Representative to the Mississippi Methodist Annual Conference.
After retirement he and his wife traveled extensively in the U.S.A., Mexico, Brazil, Russia, England and most of Europe. His hobby was researching family genealogy, and he has created a large file of descendants information. Using owls as a means of teaching design to students, he has built a massive collection of owls, one of his favorites is one he purchased in a small village in Russia.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Orville Elbert and Gussie Girlton Odom Tettleton and his brother, Zeke Eldo Tettleton.
He is survived by his sons, Robert Pylant (Kerri) Tettleton, Philip Odom (Becky) Tettleton of Oxford and John Rainey (Anna) Tettleton of Nashville, MS. And his grandchildren: Rebekah Newell Tettleton, Elizabeth McDaniel Tettleton, Rachel Kennedy Tettleton all of Oxford, MS and Cochran Gray Tettleton, Saylor Catherine Seale Tettleton, and Maeve Rainey Tettleton, all of Nashville, TN; his sister Jo Mary Smith of Monroe, LA,; brother, Danny Orville Tettleton and his sister-in-law, Betty Jo Giles Tettleton, both of Farmerville, LA, and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, January 2, 2013 at Oxford-University United Methodist Church in Oxford, MS with Reverend Warren Black and Reverend Claire Dobbs officiating. Burial will follow in St. Peter’s Cemetery. The visitation will be held the day of the service in Wesley Hall of the church from 9:00 A.M. until service time. Waller Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Oxford-University United Methodist Church, for the building program, 424 South 10th Street, Oxford, MS, 38655, or the University of Mississippi Museums, P.O. 249, University, MS 38677, or donations to an organization of your choice.
In honor of Mr. Tettleton’s service to his country, the flag of the United States Army will be flown at Waller Funeral Home.