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John Allison Teague Sr., former Alabama Senate leader, has died

Teague was elected by his peers from 1983-1986 as president pro tempore of the Alabama Senate.

John Allison Teague Sr. (left)
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John Allison Teague, Sr. was called home by the Lord on May 14, 2023, after a lengthy battle with cancer. 

He was born on July 9, 1944, to Ralph Judson, Sr. and Mayburn Allison Teague in Birmingham, Alabama. The family moved to Childersburg when he was two and it became their permanent home. A member of the 1962 graduating class of Childersburg High School, John remained close to many of his classmates and enjoyed attending reunions and get togethers throughout the years. 

After attending Jacksonville State University, he worked for Kimberly Clark Corporation at their Childersburg plant. In 1976, he attended the USF&G School of Insurance and opened the Teague Insurance Agency in downtown Childersburg. 

He entered politics in 1974, when he was elected to the District 55 Alabama House of Representatives seat, representing Talladega, Childersburg, Lincoln and surrounding areas. He was sent to the Alabama Senate in 1976 by special election and then re-elected to two full terms, serving a total of ten years as the Senator for Alabama District 19. He represented the people of Talladega, St. Clair, and Calhoun Counties from 1976-1982, and, after redistricting, Talladega, Cleburne, Clay, Coosa, and Elmore Counties from 1982-1986.  During his tenure in the Senate, he was elected by his peers as the most outstanding Senator in 1984 and 1986, recognized on the cover of Alabama magazine as “The Most Effective Legislator” in 1984, and elected by his peers from 1983-1986 as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, where he was given a vote on every standing committee for the first time in Alabama history. 

He was also recognized in many other ways throughout the years for his service to community: Central Alabama Community College named its first ever scholarship award after him and the Student Center at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind bears his name. This was an honor bestowed upon him by the Alabama Legislature and Board of Trustees of the school for all his efforts benefitting the school over the years and one of the honors that he treasured the most. He was Alabama Wildlife Federation’s “Conservationist of the Year”  in 1986, The University of Montevallo’s “Area Public Official of the Year” in 1985, and in 1984, he was awarded the Lyndon Baines Johnson Political Freedom Award by the Alabama Democratic Conference.

He was a charter member and served on the Board of Trustees for the Alabama Motorsports Hall of Fame from 1975-1987, and served on the Board of Trustees for Troy State University on the Executive and Athletic Committees from 1980-1992. Talladega College conferred a Doctorate of Humane Letters upon him in 1984 for his significant contributions to society. A new bridge built over the Coosa River in 1987 in his hometown of Childersburg still bears the name “John A. Teague Bridge.”  

After leaving office in 1986, he started Government Affairs, a lobbying firm in Montgomery, Alabama. He was joined by different partners in the firm throughout the years, including his wife Tami in the 1990s. He continued to work for the betterment of the state using the skills honed from twelve years of working successfully with both political parties until his death.

John Allison Teague Sr.

He was a true statesman dedicating over 45 years to the service of the state he loved. Although he enjoyed traveling all over the world, there was nowhere he was happier than home in Alabama. In his travels, he was one of the best ambassadors the state ever had, as he always shared his love of all things Alabama when he met people. Having traversed the entire state many times, he could point you toward the best places to visit, explore, or eat in any area of the state. One of his favorite places was anywhere on the water, especially Lake Martin and the Gulf of Mexico. An avid sports fan, he loved visiting the Plains of Auburn and cheering on his Tigers as well as watching races at the Talladega Superspeedway.   

Genuinely interested in people, he loved chatting with them everywhere he went and learning about them and their lives. The phrase ‘never met a stranger’ fit him to a T. He had an amazing propensity for remembering names and details about the people he met and used it to make everyone he met feel special. He believed that everyone was important and treated them equally.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Mayburn Teague; brother Ralph J. Teague, Jr.; and sister Ashley Teague Wagnon. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Tami Ezell Teague; daughter, Allison Bell (Ken); sons, Todd Teague and John Teague, II; grandchildren,  Josh Bell, Jessica Poor (Ryan), Taylor, Clay, and Wesly Teague and many close and loving friends. 

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at First Baptist Church Montgomery with Pastor Jay Wolf officiating. Visitation will be immediately prior to the service from 3-4 p.m. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Pilots for Christ, P.O. Box 707, Monroeville, AL 36461.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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