Mary Joel (Jones) Barron
February 4, 1948 - January 13, 2021
Mary Joel, affectionately known as Mimi, lived a happy life filled with providing strength, kindness, and beauty to others.
She grew up in Fayetteville Georgia and attended Fayette County High School. She began playing the piano at a very early age and it was evident that she had a rare musical gift. As a youth, Mary Joel attended Fayetteville First Baptist Church and would often be found playing piano or organ for church services and weddings. She went on to attend Shorter College where she received a degree in music education, and later received a Masters degree from The University of Georgia.
While attending Shorter College, Mary Joel was asked to accompany a young male vocalist on the piano. Little did she know, this would be the day she met the love of her life, Buddy Barron. Buddy wooed her in many ways, one of which was drawing poster-sized art for her that she hung in her dorm room. They later married on June 19, 1971, and would celebrate their fiftieth year of marriage this year. The two love birds were inseparable for fifty-five years.
Shortly after marrying, they moved to New Haven, Connecticut where Buddy was studying opera. It was while they were there that they were called into the ministry and were led back to Georgia where they began serving in their first ministry in Tate, Georgia. They eventually moved back to Gainesville where they were assistant pastors at The Assemblies of God Church and eventually founded New Covenant Church in Gainesville. They pastored there for twenty years.
Early in her career, Mary Joel taught music in public education. One of her fondest memories of teaching was working with special needs students. She loved the way these students enjoyed music but also the way that they loved her unconditionally. After having children, Mary Joel became a stay at home mother but continued to play the piano in the churches she served in and taught private piano lessons to dozens of students. For the last 20 years of Mary Joel’s career, she served in the role of a makeup artist at Belk in Gainesville. Mary Joel loved her students and customers. She loved making beautiful music and helping women feel more beautiful. She recently retired earlier this year.
Mary Joel’s greatest joy was becoming a wife and mother. She raised three children, Amy Stowers, Benjamin Barron, and Jonathan Barron, and five grandchildren, Breanna Stowers, Owen Stowers, Casey Barron, Ethan Barron, and Brekken Barron. Mary Joel leaves a legacy of beauty and kindness to those she loved. Her greatest desire was for her family to know she loved them and cared for them. As one of her grandchildren said, Mimi was like Queen Esther; she cared for her people. And that she did. She was like a mighty oak tree providing constant strength and shelter for those she loved. Her love was tested, yet unwavering. This was the greatest gift.
Mary Joel fought a valiant battle against cancer and ultimately won the battle with the same strength and dignity that she lived. She was kind and caring to all around her. She had a peace knowing she was under God’s wing of refuge.
Proverbs 31: 25-29 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Survivors included husband Buddy (Benjamin) Barron of Flowery Branch; daughter and son in law Amy and Kevin Stowers of Gainesville; sons and daughters in law Benjamin and Melissa Barron of Athens and Jonathan and Deanna Barron of Demorest; sister Susan Kennemer of Birmingham, AL, Grandchildren Breanna Stowers, Owen Stowers, Casey Barron, Ethan Barron, and Brekken Barron.
Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday January 16, 2021 in the chapel of Little & Davenport Funeral Home. Rev. Buddy Barron and Pastor Jonathan Barron will officiate. Interment will follow in the Alta Vista Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Friday January 15 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
For those who are not able to attend the service, it will be live streamed at https://vimeo.com/501036495
Due to the ongoing COVID-pandemic social distancing will need to be observed for everyone’s health and safety and mask are recommended.
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Georgia 30501 is in charge of arrangements.
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