OBITUARY ~ Glenda Rue Potts: November 26, 1940 – June 3, 2021

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Glenda Rue Moseley Potts left this earth to be with our Lord on June 3, 2021. She died very peacefully at home with her husband Willis at her side. 

Glenda was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2016 and faced her foe with grace, courage, and dignity. She spent five years battling this implacable disease, with she and Willis relocating from Rome, Georgia to Birmingham, Alabama in 2017 to take advantage of the marvelous medical capabilities at the University of Alabama Medical Center. 

Glenda was born in Butler, Alabama on November 26, 1940, the eldest daughter of Jennings Herschel and Erma Rue Moseley. She grew up in Wetumpka, Alabama, was graduated from Wetumpka High School, and went on to excel in her college career at Auburn University. Glenda earned her degree in Piano Performance, emphasizing composition and theory. She distinguished herself in many campus activities and received numerous honors. Glenda composed a selection used by the Auburn orchestra and choir in 1963. In 1992, Auburn honored her as one of the top 100 Female graduates in Auburn’s first 100 years of admitting women. While at Auburn, Glenda became a member of Chi Omega Sorority. 

Glenda’s life was defined by her love of music. She taught piano for 52 years, making a long-term teaching commitment to over 600 students during that time. Many are Ministers of Music in churches or involved in music education or performance today. Glenda credits her teaching success to the motivational abilities she inherited from her father, and to the support of both of her parents in providing piano and voice lessons to her and her three sisters. She always enjoyed relating that both of her grandfathers played the fiddle and piano and sang shaped note music, so her career was genetically predetermined. 

Professionally, Glenda is listed in Who’s Who of World Musicians and was inducted into the National Guild of Piano Teachers’ Hall of Fame in addition to the singular award by her Alma Mater. 

All of this recognition meant very little to Glenda Potts. Her joy came from playing religious music. She served as a church organist for over 36 years. While the classics from Bach were favorites of hers, the biggest smiles came when she was accompanying a church congregation in singing hymns. She had a way with that magnificent instrument to encourage people to sing. She could light up a Sanctuary. 

After moving to Birmingham for cancer treatment, Glenda was able to teach piano to two of her grandchildren, which she said was the highlight of her entire teaching career. 

While living in Rome, Georgia, Glenda sponsored voice scholarships to students at Shorter University, with the stipulation that the students serve as interns in the church choir. In 2008, the Glenda Moseley Potts Endowed Scholarship was established in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University to encourage students studying piano. She indeed loved music, and she loved Auburn. 

Glenda was preceded in death by her parents and son Michael Potts. She is survived by her husband Willis; three sisters – Idonia (Roland) Porterfield, Ginger Parr, and Jere (Ben) Bowden; three sons – Stephen (Katrina) Blackwell, Mel (Gwen) Blackwell, and Brendon (Kendra) Potts; and six grandchildren – Clara Williams, Emalyn Blackwell, Nick Blackwell, Elisabeth Blackwell, Austin Potts, and Kaleigh Potts. 

Interment will be in the Columbarium at Mountain Brook Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, with a celebration of Life Service to be held on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 2:00 PM in the sanctuary of Mountain Brook Baptist Church.

Willis’ request is that any remembrance in Glenda’s memory be given to the Glenda Moseley Potts Endowed Scholarship, Auburn University Office of Development, 317 South College Street, Auburn, AL. 36849-5170.

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