In His infinite wisdom, on September 11, 2020, God called Juliaette Whitley Barge to her heavenly home and granted her eternal wings. She was born September 30, 1939, in Florala, AL, to the late Neal and Clara Boone Whitley. She accepted Christ at an early age and walked closely with the Lord throughout her life. She was educated in the Covington County School System. She married Elbert Barge, Jr. on September 2, 1956, and this union was blessed with eight children. They raised their beautiful family in the Euchee Valley Community in DeFuniak Springs, FL.
Juliaette retired from the Walton County School System, where she worked as a teacher’s aid for 33 years. It was here that she developed very special life-long relationships with many of her students and fellow teachers. She also worked at the Cope Center, where she enjoyed mentoring youth in the community.
Juliaette was fun, loving, and a pure joy to be around. She was an exceptional athlete and in her younger days, you could find her playing basketball, teaching someone how to play a card game, hanging out with her friends or cheering for one of her boys’ sports teams! She loved Coca-Cola, fried chicken, shrimp, gospel music, In The Heat of the Night, wrestling, and judge shows. She was a great story-teller and loved to tell her favorite stories, no matter how many times she’d already shared them! She was indeed a one-of-a-kind mama, granny, sister, aunt, and genuine friend. She had a way of making everyone feel like family, and those who knew her LOVED her. She was the last surviving Whitley sibling and was like a mother to her nieces and nephews, who she loved like they were her own.
Juliaette was a member of New Bethel A.M.E. Church of Argyle, FL, where she served dutifully as an usher, trustee, stewardess, member of the Pastor’s Aid Board, and choir. She also chaired the annual M.L.K. Day Program for many years. She was a faithful member of the Community Usher Board. Her love for others in the community was immense, as she was an original member of the C.L.I.C.K. (Christians Lovingly Involved in Community Kindness), a group she and some of her friends formed to serve those in the community. She was a charter member of the Tivoli Historical Society and a member of the NAACP. After moving to Tallahassee, FL to live with her children, she joined Flipper Chapel A.M.E. Church. Juliaette lived a very blessed life and would tell anyone that the “Good Lord” had blessed her with the best children a woman could ask for. She was a praying Mama, and her kids were her heart…she was so very proud to be their Mama. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought her great joy and she loved them with everything in her.
Affectionately known as “My Mama,” “Mama,” “Granny,” “Aunt Juliaette,” “Judy,” “Ms. Judy,” and “Mrs. Barge,” Juliaette loved her family. She will forever be remembered for her fun, feisty, loving spirit, whit, and most importantly, the loving family legacy she leaves behind.
Juliaette leaves to cherish her beautiful memory, her seven children, Dexter (Evelyn) Barge, Sr. of Valrico, FL; Gwendolyn (Tony) Worlds; Sylvia Barge; LauWanda (Jerome) Fitz; Tonya (Maurice) Edington of Tallahassee, FL; RoyRick (Tara) Barge of Wesley Chapel, FL, and Delrek (Merri) Barge of Apopka, FL; two brothers-in-law, Jesse (Rose) Barge of Panama City, FL and JD “Hayward” Barge of DeFuniak Springs, FL; six sisters-in-law, Barbara Gipson of DeFuniak Springs, FL, Ruth Brown of Mobile, AL, Vera Randolph and Gloria (Paul) Riley of Panama City, FL, Billie June Whitley of Philadelphia, PA and Roberta Whitley of Fayetteville, NC; twelve grandchildren, Julia (Clarence) Gibby, Ashlee (Kevin) Gomez, Jacleen Barge, Birausha and Katelin McLeod, Dexter Barge, Jr., Tony Worlds, Jr., Jerion Fitz, Olivia Grace Barge, Jaylen Barge, Sadie Barge and Gabriella Edington; six great-grandchildren, Kyndall, Tristan and Jaxson Gibby, Kaden and Klaire Gomez, Mazzi Dantley,; a host of special nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Along with her parents and siblings, Juliaette was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Elbert Barge, Jr., Son Elbert Barge III (stillborn), and granddaughter Kathryn Barge.
A time of visitation will be held Friday, September 18, 2020, in the chapel of Davis-Watkins Funeral Home, 1474 Highway 83 North, DeFuniak Springs, Florida 32433, from 2 until 6 p.m. CST.
Due to Covid, a private funeral service will be held for family, however the family invites anyone who wishes to join them in celebrating the life of their beloved Juliaette to watch the service via live stream on Facebook at the link below.
Arrangements and services are under the direction of Davis-Watkins Funeral Home.
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