Teddy Grogan found his calling in life
by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star
Jun 19, 2013 | 1572 views |  0 comments | 129 129 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Teddy Grogan shows a photo of him 33 years ago. The photo is hanging on a wall at the Masonic Lodge 97 in Piedmont. Photo: Anita Kilgore/The Jacksonville News
Teddy Grogan shows a photo of him 33 years ago. The photo is hanging on a wall at the Masonic Lodge 97 in Piedmont. Photo: Anita Kilgore/The Jacksonville News
Teddy Grogan Jr., feels that God called him to teach special education, because that’s not what he had in mind in college. Back then he wanted to complete graduate school and teach history on the college level.  Some 40 years later though, he’s couldn’t be happier with the career he chose.

“My wife and I got married in1972,” said Grogan. “I was supposed to start graduate school, then we found out she was pregnant. I knew then I’d have to get a job.”

Grogan was lucky. His brother-in-law, Tony Lusk, taught at Calhoun County’s vocational school in Jacksonville. Lusk phoned Grogan and told him the school needed a special education teacher.

“I said what’s that?” said Grogan. He quickly learned what that was and was pleasantly surprised to find himself enjoying doing something he’d never heard of.

“After 40 years of teaching special education, I’ve never dreaded getting up and going to work,” said Grogan. “I think that’s what God had in mind all along. It’s been a great experience. I’ve got kids that I taught that still call and talk to me. I’m sure God had a plan for me and that was it.”

Grogan spent 30 years teaching in Piedmont. He’s spent the past 10 years teaching in the Floyd County School System in Rome where he’s a homebound teacher.

“I go by the school, pick up their assignments, go to their home and try to get them caught up,” he said. “There are only two of us in Floyd County that do that. Floyd County is about the same size as Calhoun County as far as the number of students, so it keeps us busy.”

Grogan said he’s planning on teaching at least one more year. Then, there’s a possibility that he will change careers.

He’s been a member of the Lozahatchee Masonic Lodge 97 for the past 38 years and has even served as grand master of Alabama.

The grand lodge office, which is located in Millbrook, has one paid employee and that’s the grand secretary. The person currently holding that position is getting ready to retire, and Grogan hopes to replace him. If that happens, he and his wife, Lynn, will probably live in Millbrook during the week and come home on weekends. Millbrook is near Prattville and about 10 miles north of Montgomery.

If he doesn’t get the position, that’ll be okay with Grogan. He doesn’t have any gripes at all about his current job.

“If that doesn’t happen, I’ll keep on teaching, because I’m only 61,” he said. “I’m not planning on ever leaving Piedmont. It’s been our home all our lives. We’d keep our home here and just be there during the week.”

Grogan feels a special kinship toward the lodge. The Piedmont lodge was founded in 1849 and many of its members have been Grogan’s male relatives, including his father.

“It’s a fraternity and it’s an opportunity to fellowship with a lot of different men,” said Grogan. “I guess it’s one of these things you’re not supposed to brag about, but we do a lot of charitable things. We have a lot of different organizations under us, like the Shriners, and when everything is combined, we probably spend $2 million a day on charity.”

Grogan said the local lodge gives scholarships to Piedmont High and Spring Garden High seniors. Members also loan medical equipment to those who can’t afford it.

“The lodge is a good thing and, that’s funny, because you can read a lot of things about the Masonic Lodge and most of it’s not true,” said Grogan. “We’re not a secret organization, because if it were a secret, we wouldn’t let anyone know who we are or where we meet.”

Members meet the first and third Thursday of the month in the lodge building on Highway 278.

Grogan was supposed to be named Theodore Roosevelt Grogan Jr. His birth certificate says he is Teddy R. Grogan Jr. He’s not sure how that happened.

“That’s always been a funny thing about my name,” he said. “I don’t know exactly how I ended up being Teddy R. Grogan Jr. My grandparents must have been fans of Teddy Roosevelt. My dad was born in 1912, 101 years ago. That was the year Roosevelt ran but lost. Woodrow Wilson won.”

Grogan’s mother is the late Agnes Coogler Grogan. His sisters are Fayrene Mobley, Judy Arnett and Betty Lusk. His brother, Tom, is deceased.

Grogan said the first time he saw Lynn at Piedmont High, the world stopped.

“Back then we had a fall festival at the National Guard Armory,” he said. “That’s where I saw her. It’s like a movie, when you see someone across the room for the first time and time stops. I thought, gosh, she’s really a cute girl.”

The Grogans have two children. Melanie Brown and her husband David live in Piedmont. They have three daughters. Maddie is 15, Allie is 11, and Katie is 5. Their son Todd lives in Hoover. His children are Bryant, 8, and Ava, 4.

Grogan’s degrees are from the University of Alabama. He has a bachelor’s, master’s and an AA.

Grogan’s heart is full of love for the Masonic Lodge, but it’s big enough to hold another love  – the First United Methodist Church. He serves on the administrative board and teaches the Granger Latta Sunday class. He’s been a member there over 35 years.

He and Lynn walk most days when they get home from work. Lynn is a dental hygienist for Dr. Eric Lafayette in Jacksonville. They are Piedmont Bulldog and Alabama Crimson Tide fans. They also like to travel. Although they’ve traveled fairly extensively, their favorite trips are to Gulf Shores when they take their entire family each summer.

Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.com.
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Teddy Grogan found his calling in life by Margaret Anderson
Special to The Star

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