Mr. Barry Jarrett, Milledgeville, Georgia departed this life on Sunday, August 22, 2021 at his residence.
Graveside services were held on Sunday, August 29, 2021 at 11:00 AM from the Heritage Memorial Park, Milledgeville, Georgia.
Barry Jenkins Jarrett was born on September 1, 1942, to the late George and Lessie Jenkins Jarrett in Milledgeville, Georgia. He was nurtured and reared by George and Sallie Payne Jarrett. At an early age, Barry developed a love, devotion, and loyalty for family. His love was consistent and strong! He instilled this love in each of his children, and left a legacy of love to his family, church, and community.
During his formative years, Barry become a trailblazer, excelling in the academics and developing salient leadership skills that would define him throughout his life. His early education was acquired through Baldwin County public schools. Upon his graduation from J.F. Boddie High School, he attended notable historically black institutions of higher learning, including Paine College, Tuskegee University and Fisk University. In addition to his academic journey, he began his spiritual nurturing at Trinity C.M.E. Church where he served in a variety of capacities.
When Barry was five, he met his soul mate, Jeanie. He loved to tell the story that on the first day of school, he saw the prettiest girl he had ever seen. He went home and confided in his mom that he had met the girl that he would marry. Barry and Jeanie married on September 5, 1965 and were sweethearts until his last breath. Jeanie was the love of his life, and nothing was too precious to share with his loyal queen!
There are no words to describe a man who was a gift to everyone that he touched. He inspired his peers, family, and friends and was highly regarded by his community. He set high goals for him himself and worked tirelessly to achieve them. A natural leader, he inspired youth and community leaders as well because of his strong convictions and admirable work ethic. He was firm, but fair; pensive, but outspoken; and brilliant, but reserved! Moreover, he worked well with City Council and the Mayor of Milledgeville. Perhaps Barry’s most admirable quality was that he surrounded himself with qualified, competent staff, and respected and valued their input. He was a gentle leader with a giant heart, earning the respect of everyone.
Barry’s determination and commitment to excellence led him to become one of the first African American officers hired by the Central State Hospital police department in the 1960s. He was also the first African American manager of the Chemistry Lab at McGaw Laboratories in the seventies. He culminated his vast work experiences with the City of Milledgeville where he served as the first African American Water and Sewage Director and ultimately, the City Milledgeville achieved numerous accomplishments. Milledgeville’s innovative downtown revitalization efforts resulted in the city receiving several Main Street awards. Moreover, the City won several Water Treatment and Waste Treatment Awards during his tenure and created the Annual Hometown Celebration. Additionally, Barry was instrumental in the dedication and renaming of the Allen’s Market Plaza as the Black Heritage Plaza.
After thirty-four years of service to our community, he retired in July 2020. Truly, he was a visionary leader who led by respecting and utilizing the talents of his staff.
Throughout his career, Barry was known to maintain a positive disposition despite difficult and challenging situations. He was a man of exceptional vision and possessed a quiet unconventional wisdom that permeated his personal and professional life. He leaves a legacy of brilliant leadership, salient strength, and enduring compassion.
Barry was affiliated with several organizations, including the Georgia Municipal Association, Georgia Association of Water Professionals, Georgia Rural Water Association, National Association of Colored People (NAACP), and the Trustee Board of Trinity CME Church.
In the early seventies, Barry and Jeanie decided to establish Jeanie’s Flowers and Formals. They combined their common love of flowers, customer service, and a “touch” of romance into a thriving business that enriched the families of Baldwin County and Middle Georgia for over 50 years. While operating one of Milledgeville’s oldest florists, they raised four children and ten grandchildren (Jonathan Jarrett deceased December 2020).
Barry is survived by his devoted wife, Evelyn “Jeanie” Jarrett, his daughters, Tonya Jarrett, and Sonya (Clint) Taylor, and his two sons, Mark Jarrett (Shay), and Barry “Mike” (Marquita) Jarrett. Additionally, he is survived by his brother, George Jarrett, his sister, Leslie (Lee) Wilcher, brother-in-law, Joe Sid (Mary Ann) Smith, Jr. and his sister-in-law, Beverly Smith Dore of Beaufort, S.C. His pride and joy were his grandchildren: Jamarcus, LaQuavia, Justin, Jayla, Jasia, Joshua, Jailey, Kiersten, and Lauren and Clint (CJ) of Atlanta, Georgia. Barry also left to mourn his loss a devoted cousin and ally, Rev. Donald Hill, and godson, Judge Anthony Dore, Esquire of Beaufort, SC along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends.
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