Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue| Linda Teasley

Books took her wherever she wanted to go

TAMPA — Linda Teasley experienced adventure, passions, historical moments of epic proportions. She went everywhere she ever wanted; books took her there.

When she was a little girl, it was Anne of Green Gables. When she got older, it was Chaucer and Shakespeare. She earned a doctorate in English literature from Emory University by doing a dissertation on George Chapman's translation of Homer.

She admired Stonewall Jackson, and devoted several years to understanding the causes and the consequences of the Civil War. She found work lecturing in college classrooms including at Emory, the University of Alabama and the University of South Florida.

Wherever life took her, she was happy, as long as she had what she needed — her husband and her books.

• • •

She met Harry Teasley Jr. on a blind date in college. He adored her from the start.

They were totally different personalities. He was a take action, Type A. She was laid back. Never made lists, never fretted. Didn't spend hours on the phone. She was friendly and social, but she kept to herself.

If there was a Type C, her family said, that was Mrs. Teasley.

But they were best friends and partners. Katherine Teasley Muth, 45, one of their three children, said she hardly ever saw her parents exchange cross words. Even when annoyed, they were careful not to spout off with disrespect.

Mostly, they wanted to be together. So when Mr. Teasley's job as a Coca-Cola executive required him to travel, she went along gladly. They lived in Georgia, California, England, Texas. In 1991, they moved to Tampa, where they settled on Bayshore Boulevard.

Her surroundings changed, but Mrs. Teasley found consistency through reading and learning.

"She was just an intellectual person," said her daughter. "She lived a life very much in her mind."

• • •

For the last year and half of her life, Mrs. Teasley suffered from ovarian cancer. It robbed her energy, but she put up a brave face. She viewed the cancer as an unwelcome guest in her house — one she just had to deal with.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Teasley died. She was 68.

She spent the last part of her life escaping, as always, into books. Her son in law, Parke Muth, constantly sent new ones in the mail — Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. More Civil War books. A book about brain science.

And last week, she watched a movie version of Watership Down, about a group of rabbits seeking greener pastures, with her daughter.

When her kids were little, Mrs. Teasley had read them the book.

Stephanie Hayes can be reached at or

(727) 893-8857.


Linda Teasley

Born: March 17, 1939.

Died: March 4, 2008.

Survivors: husband, Harry Teasley Jr.; mother, Martha Gates Grant; children; Martha Teasley, Katherine Teasley Muth, Harry Eugene Teasley III; seven grandchildren; brother, Thomas Asada-Grant; son-in-law, Phillip Parke Muth; daughter-in-law, Yatsze Mark Teasley.

Services: visitation at 1 p.m. today, service at 2 p.m., Blount & Curry Funeral Home, 605 S MacDill Ave., Tampa.

Books took her wherever she wanted to go 03/07/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 7, 2008 8:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  2. Hernando readies for possible rally at county's Confederate monument

    Public Safety

    BROOKSVILLE — Law enforcement officials have readied themselves in response to a string of social media rumors about possible rallies at the Hernando County courthouse Friday afternoon centered around the Confederate soldier statue that sits out front.

    Hernando County's Confederate monument stands on the courthouse lawn in downtown Brooksville.
  3. What to watch this weekend: 'The Defenders,' 'Halt and Catch Fire,' 'What Happened to Monday'


    Slow burn: The Defenders

    First there was Daredevil, then Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist followed. Now, the superheroes team up for The Defenders. The new Marvel series on Netflix follows the city's unlikeliest heroes as they struggle with their own personal vendettas …

    Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones in The Defenders.
  4. Bill Nelson celebrates Steve Bannon's departure


    Bill Nelson likes what he sees Steve Bannon getting the boot:

  5. Algae bloom and fish kill confirmed in Old Tampa Bay


    An algae bloom and fish kill have been confirmed in Old Tampa Bay from Safety Harbor to the south end of the Bayside Bridge.