D'Lila Huffman Terracin

July 20, 1944 - April 16, 2022

Service Date:

A celebration and remembrance of her life will be held at a later date.

Dr. D’Lila Huffman Terracin, 77, of Waterboro, passed away peacefully at Gosnell Hospice House in Scarborough on April 16, 2022.

D’Lila was born on July 20, 1944, in Houston, Mississippi to Laura and Hoyle Huffman. She was predeceased by her parents and sisters Elizabeth and Martha Joy and is survived by her loving partner of 39 years, Nancy Peters of Waterboro, nephew Charles Stoeppler, Nieces Marguerite, and Leslie, all of South Carolina and several great nieces and nephews.

She grew up and attended public schools in Greenville, Mississippi. In 1962, D’Lila graduated with a degree in English from The University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). A post-graduation motorcycle tour through Maine with friends changed the direction of her life. The people and beautiful landscape she encountered in that trip led to her decision to return as a permanent resident.

She taught in several Maine schools before moving to Waterboro and accepting a job as an English Teacher at Sanford Junior High School in 1974. During her teaching career there, D’Lila earned a Master’s Degree both in English and Educational Administration. In 1976 she became Assistant Principal, a position that included serving as Athletic Director for the school. D’Lila did not consider herself an athletic and sports centered person (participating in fencing rather than swimming in college), but she took this role seriously. She was a strong and successful advocate of applying Title 9 Regulations to assure that male and female students were given equal opportunities.

A few years later D’Lila was promoted to Principal at the school and subsequently entered the Doctorate of Education program offered through the University of Maine system. While attending classes in Portland and simultaneously fulling her duties as school Principal, she was diagnosed with cancer. Several months later she was diagnosed with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis. Despite these serious health challenges, she completed her dissertation in teacher leadership and received her doctorate on May 11, 1996.

In the last years of her career, D’Lila became very interested in teacher leadership and was mentored by Madeline Hunter who developed a model for teaching and learning that was widely adopted by schools during the last quarter of the 20th century. She loved her work and reluctantly retired n 2002 due to continuing health challenges.

D’Lila was a true professional who maintained high standards and expected that of her staff. She was a well-respected leader in her field whose polite southern upbringing was ever present in her life both professionally and personally. She kept current in educational practices and would go to great lengths to ensure that her staff had the best possible learning experiences that in turn would give students an edge in education. Her complete devotion to Sanford Junior High School and its students and staff is a strong memory for those with whom she worked.

“She delighted in spending time with friends and family hosting dinners and showing the little ones where to find the best blackberries and how to know a tree by the shape of its leaves. Throughout her life, D’Lila was ever the Southern Belle; she was genteel, humble, loving, and gracious. D’Lila was a special soul who made the world a better place just by having passed through it, and she will be dearly missed by all who loved her.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

A celebration and remembrance of her life will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are entrusted to Bibber Memorial at Autumn Green, 47 Oak St., in Alfred.

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