Joetta “Jody” Barr, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, passed away peacefully at her home in Athens, Tennessee, on November 16, 2022, surrounded by her family.
Jody was preceded in death by her parents William “Red” and Lillian Thurman and her brother 2nd Lt Richard Thurman (United States Army).
A native of Grandview, Tennessee, Jody was one of six children, and her childhood was one of fun, laughter, and family. She adored her parents, siblings and cousins, and in her words “had the most fun” enjoying nature’s simple pleasures. Her childhood days were spent swimming in Piney Creek, picnicking, and playing outside. She learned early in life the importance of family and developed a fierce loyalty for those she loved.
Jody graduated from Spring City High in 1969 and then attended Hiwassee College where she met her future husband, Raymond Barr, and the two were married August 28, 1971. Jody graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Tennessee Wesleyan University and a Master of Science from the University of Tennessee in Early Childhood Education. Jody was a wonderful kindergarten teacher bringing joy and laughter into the classroom.
Raymond and Jody spent their early married years in Athens teaching school, playing tennis, enjoying delicious food and traveling with Jody’s best friend and sister, Liz. Oh, the fun they had!
After ten years of marriage, Raymond and Jody grew their family by welcoming daughters Lacey (1982), Tiffany (1984), and Brittany (1985) into the world. Jody was the most dedicated mother and aunt; always offering love, guidance, support, and encouragement to her girls. She made childhood for Lacey, Tiffany, and Brittany (as well as nieces, Laura and Amanda) magical, creating daily memories filled with travel, adventure, playtime, and family.
Jody was the ultimate hostess - entertaining relatives and friends with delicious homemade food and warm conversation. She had a gift for making others feel at home and celebrated.
Jody was a natural businesswoman experiencing notable success as a real estate agent for Century 21. Together, Raymond and Jody pursued their entrepreneurial spirits and were part of a partnership that created Superior Sporting Goods. Later they founded United Service Associates, a fundraising company focused on schools. Jody worked hard alongside employees, earning their respect, trust and admiration. She will always be remembered for her generosity, kindness and leadership.
Jody is a long-standing member of Mars Hill Presbyterian Church where she served as an Elder. She loved her church, and through it found comfort and solace through life’s different seasons. Jody was active in her community as a member of the Athens Area Arts Council and Garden Club and enjoyed supporting local businesses, schools and community members. She was someone friends would turn to for help and support and she was always generous with her time and resources.
Jody also had a love for fitness. She could often be spotted walking or running around town, hiking East Tennessee’s beautiful trails, taking a workout class at the YMCA, or playing tennis on the city courts. She loved participating in the Athens City tennis tournament and was a fierce competitor, winning the women’s championship multiple times.
Jody will be remembered by those who loved her the most for being kind, compassionate, fiercely loyal, fiery, and fun. She made the world a better place.
Jody is survived by her husband of 51 years, Raymond Barr; her daughters Lacey, Tiffany, and Brittany; her two sons-in-law Patrick Robinette and Scott Sellers; her three grandsons Wilder, Henry, and Tucker Robinette; her siblings Dill Thurman, Liz Ingram (Glen), Grover Thurman (Mary Gardner), and Gloria Thurman; her nieces and nephews Laura Ketcham (Mike), Amanda Lunnen (Jake), Hannah Snyder, Josh Thurman, and Scott Thurman (Tammie); great nephews and niece Andrew Ketcham, William, Knox, and John Lunnen, and Noah and Carly Snyder; special/close cousins Emily Miller and Tammy Swafford; and her loving fur baby Brody Barr. She will be dearly missed by her “Crazy Crew”!
The family would like to express its appreciation to Angela Wilson and Victoria Ferguson for the loving care they provided Jody.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, December 10 at 2:30 pm at Mars Hill Presbyterian Church, with a receiving of friends to follow in the fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you donate to Mars Hill Presbyterian Church, and we will do acts of Christmas kindness in Jody’s honor.