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Surrounded by family and close friends, Geneva Louise Barrett Harben, age 79, died in her sleep on Sunday morning, July 28, 2019, at home in Gainesville, Georgia. Visitation will be on Friday, August 2nd from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at Little-Davenport Funeral Home, 355 Dawsonville Hwy SW, Gainesville, GA 30501. First Presbyterian Church will conduct a funeral service, Saturday, August 3rd at 11:00 AM, 800 S Enota Drive NE, Gainesville, GA 30501. All are welcome. The church also will live stream the service,
Geneva truly loved the world and its people. The daughter of sharecroppers, she educated herself and was graduated with two Masters of Education. She opened her home and fostered children. Teaching and mentoring hundreds of students over 30 years, she helped the severely and profoundly disabled at the Alpine Center, directed the Infant Development Center at Brenau College for seven years, and taught third grade at While Sulphur Elementary for twenty. She continued her calling, tutoring until she could no longer move and offering comfort and advice to all until she could no longer speak.
More than a teacher and student of books, Geneva sought life’s experiences. She traveled the world and our country with family, friends, and strangers alike, sightseeing, attending conferences, spiritual retreats, and enjoying local traditions, foods, and rituals. On a mountain top in Peru, God revealed her spirit name, Joy Lena. She is now on the greatest of all journeys.
Joy Lena read constantly, avidly followed current events, danced, gardened, cooked, nurtured animals, studied, and listened. She also was quick to say what she thought, suggest opportunities for growth, and lend a helping hand. She celebrated life with a large circle of friends and in many ways was larger than life. She encouraged self-exploration and development, welcomed technology and change, and cared little for consistency. Over the last twenty-five years, she ate dinner every night, vacationed, and frequently boated with her beloved life friend and gentleman, Harold Pinson of Gainesville.
She is preceded in death by her father and mother, Claude Barrett and Lorene Parker Barrett. She is survived by her three brothers, Willard, Ervin, and Eddie Barrett, and her two cousins who were like sisters to her, Ann Landrum Michael, PhD of Knoxville, Tennessee and Brenda Landrum Woodward; her sons and daughter-in-law, Franklin Luther and Glinda Duckworth Harben and Sam Sloan Harben, III. She also mothered three grandchildren, Lera Gay Harben, Catherine Sloan Harben and Daniel Franklin Harben, and three godchildren, Texys Morris Wheelock, Henry Bradford Morris, III, and William Franklin Morris, IV.
The family thanks her many long-term caregivers and helpers over the past dozen years as she bravely struggled with the ever growing difficulties of Parkinson’s disease: Imelda, Aide, Blanca, Simon, Donna, Connie, and Priscilla, as well as Homestead Hospice, and her many friends, too numerous to list.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to either the Parkinson’s Foundation, www.parkinson.org, or the First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville, Georgia, http://fpcga.org/welcome/.
Those wishing to leave on-line condolences may do so at www.littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 is in charge of arrangements.