Ruth Jean Barham, 92, of Gainesville, Georgia, passed peacefully on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
Jean was born to Vernie and Rhoda Venus on Aug. 10, 1925 in Marion. She graduated from Crab Orchard High School in 1943. She married Donald Walter Barham on Aug. 30, 1944, just before he was deployed to Germany during World War II.
Together, they raised their daughter, Crevolyn, in Marion. Don and Jean were married for 51 years before Don's death in 1996.
Jean leaves as her legacy her daughter and son-in-law, Crevolyn and Darrell Wiley; grandchildren Emily Wiley and Garrett Wiley; and several nieces and nephews.
Jean loved to travel and was always up for adventure. Jean and Don enjoyed loading their station wagon and driving across the country. She had a great sense of style with a matching hat and purse for every occasion.
Jean lighted up the room with her witty comebacks and authentic sense of humor, often writing poems for those she loved. Jean was a fighter, surviving three different types of cancer during her lifetime. Her favorite days were those spent with family and friends.
Jean was preceded in death by her father and mother, Vernie and Rhoda Venus; husband, Don Barham; brother, Frank Venus; and beloved sister-in-law, Jean Pike.
She began her career as a jeweler at Moore's Jewelry Store in Marion. Later, she obtained her real estate license and started her own company, Jean Barham Real Estate. Jean retired in 1986. After living her entire life in southern Illinois, she and Don moved to Gainesville to be closer to their family. Jean was a member of Lakewood Baptist Church.
The family received friends on Monday of this week followed by the funeral service. The visitation and funeral was conducted at Little & Davenport Funeral Home. Graveside services immediately following the funeral at Alta Vista Cemetery. Dr. Jerry Gill and Dr. Bart McMillan officiated the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Thumbs Up Mission at www.thumbsupmission.org.