Mrs. Charlene Russell Barr of Cleveland passed away Monday, December 11, 2017, at her home.
Visitation was from 9:30-11 a.m. Wednesday, December 13, 2017, at Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Celebration of Life service immediately followed beginning at 11 a.m. Wednesday, December 13, 2017, at Covenant Presbyterian Church with Rev. Tim Starnes officiating. Interment was in North Cleveland Cemetery.
Charlene Russell Barr was a daughter of the soil and agriculture in Tennessee, Missouri, and Mississippi. She was born to Charles Aaron and Hazel Adcock Russell in a hillside village near Jackson, TN, on June 21, 1943. She started early as a farm child when, at three months of age, she was pulled along a cotton sack in the fields with her mother. In 1947, Charlene’s family left their family’s 173 year old homestead in Tennessee, and crossed the Mississippi River by ferry to reach the Missouri Bootheel, where her brother was born and where she was later baptized at the age of ten at Micola Baptist Church.
After thirteen years of farming the Missouri soil, the family moved to Pace-Beulah, where Charlene attended Pace Baptist Church and Rosedale High School. It was here where Charlene met her future husband, Lanny Barr, to whom she lovingly gave the nickname “Jack.” After earning her degree in Education from Delta State College, the couple was married on June 27, 1965, at Pace Baptist Church. Charlene’s life continued to be associated with agriculture, as Lanny and their three sons have maintained farming interests in the Bolivar County area to this present day.
After twenty years of dedicated homemaking and child-rearing, Charlene became involved in the electoral process on County and National levels. For four years, she served as Chairwoman of the Bolivar County Republican Party. She was also a volunteer for many civic groups such as the City Beautification Committee, Cleveland Tree Board, Ambassador of the BPAC, Friends of the Library, Cleveland Women’s Club, Cleveland Garden Club, and for fifty years the Rosedale Homemakers’ Club. Her concern for historical preservation resulted in long-standing memberships in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. In 1997, Charlene was honored by Beta Sigma Phi Sorority as their First Lady of the Year for her service through numerous community activities.
Charlene was a faithful, active member of Covenant Presbyterian Church where she sang in the Sanctuary Choir for over thirty years.
Charlene had an artist flair, which she demonstrated by gathering together unique items to make eye-catching centerpieces for luncheons and other social events. At Christmastime she would use her talents for drawing and painting displays in the pageants her grandchildren would perform for holiday celebrations with family. Their favorite prop she created was a life-size camel which the children, as well as family and friends, could ride and depict the coming of the Three Wise Men.
Charlene found delight in growing daylilies and dogwood trees, photography, and traveling. She stated that one of her biggest blessings in life was being able to see thirty-two countries in seventeen years with her sister-in-law by her side. Turkey was her favorite because of the seven churches of the New Testament being located there. Like most grandmothers, Charlene dearly loved her ten grandchildren, and she was fervent in teaching them about spiritual matters, praying, and their Christian faith.
She is survived by her husband of fifty-two years, Lanny Barr; her three sons, Bradley Russell Barr (Lynne), John Aaron Barr (LeaAnn), and Andrew Benton Barr (Kasey); her brother, Terry Russell (Linda); stepmother, Lois Merene Russell; and grandchildren, Brittnee Short, Kateland Barr, Russell Barr, Taylor Barr, John Reed Barr, Reagan Barr, Andrew Rogers Barr, Sam Barr, Layla Rose Barr, and Forrest Barr.
Pallbearers were Tommy Worthey, Russell Barr, Bennie Lessie, David Arant, Bill Lester, and John Conico. Honorary pallbearers were Wayne Blanchett, Gene Godwin, David Robinson, Joey Herbison, Jim Armishaw, and Houston Weaver.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made to The Gideon’s International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214-0800.