Obituary: Lydon Scroggins


Lydon was born at Bessemer General Hospital and lived in Bessemer Gardens and Hueytown with his parents, Doc (Dolphus Lydon) Scroggins and Ellen Maunette Garrett Scroggins. They moved to Cullman and lived in a little yellow house behind where St Paul’s is now. He walked to school at East Elementary, where he met some of his lifelong friends. Rachel’s aunt, Mildred Sanders, was his teacher in 3rd grade and sometimes she let him walk to feed her beagles at her house on 7th Avenue during school. Before long, Doc and Ellen bought a house in Carroll Acres when it was one of the only houses in the neighborhood, and Lydon spent most of his life in that house, buying it from Doc and raising his family there.

Lydon’s family was very close to his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. He spent time in the summers with his grandparents in south Alabama and his cousin Terry, nicknamed Blimp, was his best friend during those summers. Lydon’s mother’s sister, Aunt Jean, lived with them in Cullman for a while. His mother’s home movies include family get-togethers at lakes and at the beach, fishing and boating. Doc bought a boat and Lydon waterskied all over Smith Lake.

Like his parents, Lydon had a great sense of humor and made people laugh. He loved to eat, loved steaks, barbeque, hotdogs, cheeseburgers, and seafood. His first love was Johnny’s Barbeque, starting in Johnny’s old location. He got his love of good meat from his daddy, Doc, who was a career Ziegler Meats salesman and manager, and his love of all kinds of great foods and desserts came from his mother, who was a wonderful cook. Many of her recipes are in an old Hospital Auxiliary cookbook.

Lydon also got his love of wearing jewelry from his mother. Watches, rings, necklaces, and bracelets were some of the items he wore and collected, but his love of collecting did not end there. He collected t-shirts, caps, hats, knives, guns, sunglasses, coats, jackets, vests, and music CDs and DVDs. He rode motorcycles – Hondas, not Harleys – and he rode the Tail of the Dragon in the Smokies. His last motorcycle was a Honda 1800 VTX.

He married high school sweetheart Vikki Jordan in December 1973 after he graduated from Cullman High School (CHS) in May. He then attended Wallace State Community College and Calhoun Community College. Lydon and Vikki’s daughter, Amy Lachelle Scroggins, was born on October 21, 1976. After their marriage ended, Lydon married Rhonda Sue Morrison, and they were blessed with Cassie Noel Scroggins on August 26, 1983, and with Nikki Lee Scroggins on September 24, 1986. His daughters remember him as the cool dad, especially around their friends. He always called their friends “girlfriend” regardless of how long they had been coming around. And it didn’t hurt that they could join him jamming to the latest music, turned up loud. He enjoyed a broad range of music styles, and one might find him listening to Dave Matthews, Casting Crowns, Talking Heads, Bruce Hornsby, Sofi Tukker, Tedeschi Trucks, Alison Krause, Winston Ramble, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Black-eyed Peas, and the list goes on.

Lydon loved sports and excelled at most. He played on championship football, baseball, and adult softball teams. He lettered and was a baseball All-Star in high school. He played badminton while in college, and enjoyed playing ping pong and pool during lunch breaks at work, back when management still believed that esprit de corps was important. He was very competitive and loved to win at everything he played – even cornhole and horseshoes.

One of the men who played men’s league softball against him had this to say:

“I remember that he was one of the most competitive people I have ever known. Most people that are that competitive are really self-centered and arrogant. That was not the case with Lydon. Don’t get me wrong, he loved winning and didn’t take losing very well. That was the case with all the guys that played; whether it be his team or the other teams. He did not let it show. Win, lose, or draw, he was the same person! I really enjoyed my friendship with him!”

Lydon played football for the Cullman Junior High Pioneers and for CHS, where he played on B team and on Varsity. One of his B teammates remembers that Doc paid Lydon for every touchdown he made. When Lydon played quarterback, they had to beg him to let them score, instead of running it in himself. He played about every position at one time or another, but eventually settled in as “the one what runs with the football,” as Jerry Clower used to say.

His senior varsity season ended with 11 victories and 2 losses, and Lydon was the offensive player of the week in their 21-13 win over Hartselle. (Dean Sticher was the defensive player of the week in that game. David Schaffer and Van Willoughby made All-State that season.) Lydon told stories of playing against great athletes Condredge Holloway and Ozzie Newsome. “I’ve been beaten by the best!”

Lydon played for many baseball and softball teams. He played for the Cullman Red Sox independent team semi-pro league, mostly against teams all over the county. He played on his dad Doc’s team in Dixie baseball league. They could play in that league until their 19th birthdays. One of his teammates said Lydon started playing post-high school ball when he was married to Vikki and was working at Warehouse Grocery as Assistant Manager.

Then, Lydon started The Bullets men’s softball team. They needed a coach and talked his daddy, Doc, into coaching them. Then Curl Concrete sponsored them. Later, Cumming’s Sporting Goods sponsored their team, which included Rick Campbell, Randy Daniels, Glenn Haynes, Jimmy Cruce, Robin Cork, Terry Hunt, Vic Hice, Danny Tekulve, Larry “Leroy” James, Fred Steip, Chuck Steip, Jim Eddleman, and there may have been more. They won a number of championships.

Lydon’s St. Andrews church league team is also well-remembered by those who played with and against him. Coach Marlin Raney played for First Methodist and said he hated to see Lydon hit home runs off him! Someone said his St. Andrews team won 6 championships in church league softball.

Cassie also remembers Lydon and Rhonda playing softball on a coed team sponsored by Pepsi.

Lydon umpired ballgames for extra money, and, when grandchildren got old enough, he attended his grandchildrens’ games.

Lydon went with his mother and dad to Seventh Steet Baptist Church when he was young. As an adult, he and his wife, Rhonda, went to St. Andrew’s Methodist for 20 years. Lydon played for and recruited for their church men’s softball team, in addition to serving as an usher. The highlight of his spiritual life was his participation in Alabama Emmaus Walk Number 98 at Camp Sumatanga, where he sat at the table of Peter.

Rhonda passed away in July of 2006, and Rachel’s husband had passed away the previous summer. In January of 2014, Lydon and Rachel got married. He and Rachel had joined First United Methodist, where he also served as an usher. When Grace Chapel was organized and first met at the American Red Cross building, practically a stone’s throw from their house, Lydon was at the first service, which was held on Easter Sunday. He continued to take his father, Doc, to church there as long as Doc was able to walk, and they sat on the front row.

Dogs were always a part of Lydon’s life. His daddy raised and trained birddogs, and one of their legendary house pets when he was growing up was a chihuahua named Miss Cookie, who once ate a whole chicken and slept for two days. As an adult, his best dog was a Labrador retriever, Annie, named after Annie Lennox. Later, Amy brought Lydon and Rhonda a tiny puppy to babysit and never took it back. That little Yorkie was General, the beginning of the Scroggins Yorkie tradition. Then they got Sissy to be General’s girlfriend. Sissy lived to be 17 years old and was immortalized by Lydon’s ongoing series of Facebook posts, “Yorkies Are Wise.” General passed away in October 2010 and Sissy followed in 2017. Rachel and Lydon then got Tiny dog Yorkie in 2018. She was Lydon’s buddy in his final years.

Lydon worked for the same company for almost 44 years, starting out sweeping floors and running errands for Mr. Schiller at Speedring. Lydon’s mother was in garden club with Mrs. Schiller and mentioned that he needed a job. He trained as a machinist, eventually was promoted to Tools Production Supervisor, and stayed with the company as they became AXSYS Technologies, which was bought by General Dynamics. He procured everything from toilet paper to beryllium for the company. He was proficient at searching out and ordering items, and that habit carried over into his personal life, where he loved ordering from Amazon Prime and getting UPS deliveries. He came by it honest: Rachel’s parents lived across the street from his parents, and they laughed about Doc and Ellen calling it “UP (you pee) ups.”

He had a couple of monikers: the gadget man, because he loved new gadgets and toys and liked to be the first to get what was new to the market. At work, he was known as “the weather man” and was called James Spann because he monitored the weather in order to shut down electronically sensitive equipment when there was danger of lightning or power failure. He kept family members apprised of forecasted bad weather.

Since his company had contracts with the Defense Department and with the military services, he was an avid supporter of the military. He especially loved space and aviation, so he loved air shows and museums. He saw the Blue Angels many times, loved helicopters, and he and Rhonda took General with them on a helicopter ride in Gatlinburg once.

Rachel, Lydon, and Tiny dog went to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in June 2019 for nephew Mason Rowe’s graduation from Basic Training. Lydon loved touring the base and museum, visiting Geronimo’s grave, and even being awakened early in the morning by artillery fire! When he and Rachel went to Seattle, WA, in 2017, Lydon was very impressed with the Boeing plant and they also toured the Museum of Flight there.

He saw travel as adventure and had been to California several times, to Chicago, and to Michigan for work; to various places to play ball; and for vacations, to Mexico Beach, Gatlinburg, Michigan (and drove across to Canada, just so he could say he had been there!), Key West by way of St. Augustine, Seattle and Walla Walla, Washington, D.C., Kentucky, Atlanta, Nashville, and Memphis for a Dave Matthews concert, to name a few places. He and Rachel planned to travel more, but the brain tumors and COVID prevented it. Lydon retired at the end of March 2019, and it was less than a year when his symptoms began,

 which were ultimately diagnosed as glioblastoma brain tumors. Even so, Rachel took him to Kentucky several more times and to Gatlinburg twice. He continued to enjoy dining out, and, even into November of 2022, he was able to go out with an informal Friends Friday Supper Club.

Lydon passed away peacefully at home with his family on Wednesday evening, May 24, 2023. His visitation will be at Moss Funeral Home on Saturday, June 3, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., with memorial service following at 2 p.m.

Moss Service Funeral Home directing.