Patricia Van Scoy Beatty

January 8, 1939March 2, 2019

Patricia Van Scoy Beatty died at home on March 2, 2019. She was 80. A memorial service for Pat will be held on Thursday, March 7, at 11:00 a.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in Tuscaloosa with the Rev. Dr. Catherine Collier officiating. A reception in Randall Hall at Christ Episcopal will follow the memorial service.

Pat was born January 8, 1939 in Huntsville, Alabama to the late Herbert Allen Van Scoy and June Wally Van Scoy. She grew up in Tuscaloosa, graduating from Tuscaloosa High School in 1956. Pat was named Miss Tuscaloosa in 1957. She received her undergraduate degree (with distinction) from Newcomb College, Tulane University, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. In 1958, she was Tulane's homecoming queen, was elected Miss Pauline Tulane for the Jambalaya, Tulane's student annual, and was featured in the Jambalaya's Hall of Fame. Over the course of her long career as an English teacher, Pat also earned an M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Alabama. She received the Outstanding Dissertation Award for 1985 from the University of Alabama's School of Arts & Sciences for her work on her dissertation. Following various faculty appointments at Auburn, Huntingdon, Samford, UAB, Alabama and Middle Tennessee State, Pat spent 28 years at the University of West Alabama at Livingston (UWA), first teaching English composition, then chairing the Department of Languages and Literature, and finally spending a few years as the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Her teaching specialization was 20th century British literature, both the novel and poetry. Pat was a committed teacher and an excellent scholar. Numerous of her research works were published, including one in the prestigious South Atlantic Quarterly. She also presented a paper on John Fowles, the prominent English writer, at the John Fowles Symposium in Lyme Regis, England in 1996. Her symposium article was selected for publication in the book that ensued the symposium. She was a recipient of the Phi Kappa Phi Distinguished Scholar/Artist Award, which recognizes excellence in teaching, research and public service. Pat served in numerous leadership positions during her time at UWA, including President of the Alabama Council of College and University Faculty Presidents, Chair of the Blackbelt Symposium on Literature for 2006, President of the Faculty Senate, and Chair of the University Library Committee. In recognition of her service to UWA, she was appointed to the status of Professor Emeritus in 2010, and in 2015 was inducted into UWA's Society of the Golden Key, the highest honor that can be given to a UWA graduate or faculty member. Following her retirement from teaching, Pat returned to Tuscaloosa and was active in the League of Women Voters and The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Alabama. She greatly enjoyed her book clubs, her Mahjong group and her grandchildren. Throughout her life she was a passionate animal lover, a fervent reader, an enthusiastic traveler, an excellent bridge partner and a constant supporter of her children and their families.

Pat is survived by her son, Travis Beatty and his wife Meredith of Birmingham; her son, Kevin Beatty and his wife Lindsey of Birmingham; her brother, Edwin Van Scoy and his wife Linda of Gilbert, Arizona; and grandsons, Walker, Beckett and Townes.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Christ Episcopal Church memorial fund or to the Humane Society of West Alabama.

Condolences may be offered at


  • Pat is survived by her son, Travis Beatty and his wife Meredith of Birmingham; her son, Kevin Beatty and his wife Lindsey of Birmingham; her brother, Edwin Van Scoy and his wife Linda of Gilbert, Arizona; and grandsons, Walker, Beckett and Townes.



  • Memorial Service Thursday, March 7, 2019


  • Reception

Patricia Van Scoy Beatty

have a memory or condolence to add?

Wayne and Janelle Brendel

March 11, 2019

Godspeed Pat. May you rest in peace.

Michael Burkett

March 4, 2019

Several UWA professors had a profound impact upon me, both in the classroom and life; Dr. Beatty was one of them. I was an entitled class-clown upon my arrival as an undergraduate, and only took 2 of her classes. She recognized potential in me but did not push me too hard; probably because she knew it would fall on deaf ears. I graduated, barely, because she found a class at South Alabama that would transfer back. Fast forward 3 years. I came back for a graduate degree. Dr. Beatty was now my adviser, and she had one question: "Why?" My answer satisfied her, and she simply said "We'll see if you're serious." I took 3 of her classes as a graduate student and excelled. She was pleased as a mother is pleased with her son who shows maturity. But, one class remained: Research. It was her "baby." I was burned out, and put it off for years. At one point, she called me in to her office, and she was justifiably angry with me. She was emotionally hurt that I hadn't finished the research class. She admonished my lack of effort after she had seen so much progress. She asked "Have you gone back to the old you?" Message received. I finished 3 months later. That's who she was: passionate. Passionate about her material and her students. I know I'm not unique, and she cared for all of her students in that way. There will be no replacing Dr. Beatty.