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Barbara Aurelia Beadle Barber was born June 8, 1921 and departed this life on November 15, 2012. She was the third daughter born to Mr. Richard H. Beadle and Mrs. Juanita Davis Beadle. Her siblings were Mrs. Anita Beadle Scott and Mrs. Johnie Beadle Middleton. She was married to Arthur F. Barber; all preceded her in death. The funeral service will be held 2:00 Saturday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church with burial in Garden Memorial Park. Collins Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
Barbara was a cradle Episcopalian of St. Mark's Episcopal Church and a product of its day school. She attended Jackson College Laboratory School and Lanier High, where she graduated with honors. She studied at Tougaloo College and earned the B.S. degree with honors from Jackson State. Barbara earned the Master of Arts degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. While matriculating there she attended Medile School of Journalism where she upgraded her skills in photography. Barbara's father was her first photography instructor.
Barbara worked as a teacher and a professional photographer. She retired from the Jackson Public Schools in 1983 after thirty-four years of employment. Her retirement years were filled with service to her church and community, and she traveled widely. She volunteered generously, serving at the Mississippi Museum of Art, as board member and docent trainer at both the Smith Robertson Museum and the restored Alamo Theater. Barbara served on the Neighborhood Housing Board, the Metropolitan Library System, The Kirksey Foundation for Equity and Justice, the Community Advisory Board for the Old Capitol Museum, and St. Mark's Home for the Aged. Barbara was recognized by the Governor's Initiative for Volunteer Excellence, the J.C. Penny Golden Rule Award, and the Goodwill Volunteer Salute. She received special honors from the United Negro College Fund and the Mississippi Arts Commission for volunteer service.
Barbara remained faithful to her beloved St. Mark's Church and cherished the moments she served as sponsor for the Episcopal Young Churchmen, as a choir member, Lay Reader, Eucharistic Minister, Episcopal Church Women's Club member and Church Historian. She was a member of the Companions of the Holy Cross, the Union of Black Episcopalians and the Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference. In 2009, she published her greatest labor of love: By Faith: A Century of Progress - A History of the Episcopal Church of Saint Mark, Jackson, Mississippi, 1883 - 2003, completed when she was 88 years old. Barbara also was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for over 50 years, where she served as president for two terms and as custodian.
Barbara had many dear friends, nephews and nieces: Richard T. Middleton, III (Brenda), Paul B. Middleton (Juliette), Michael A. Middleton (Julie), Jeanne Middleton Hairston (James), Jeanna M. Dampier (Reginald), Richard T. Middleton, IV (Jessica), Crystan Middleton Schneider (Daniel), Kara Middleton, Michael Middleton, II (Teneka), Kimberly Middleton Gray (Terrance), Mark Middleton (Cathy), Johnie Valeska Forsythe Pilson (David), Valara Jeanne Forsythe and J. R. Hairston; her beloved cousins of the Richard Thomas Family of Bolton, and her sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center or the Alamo Theatre are welcomed to celebrate the life of Barbara Beadle Barber. 528 Bloom Street Jackson, MS 39202 attention Erma Johnson 601/960-
Collins Funeral Home
415 North Farish Street Jackson, MS 39202
Published in Clarion Ledger on Nov. 22, 2012