Elizabeth Hulen Barr

December 28, 1932October 20, 2019

Elizabeth Hulen (Betsy) Barr succumbed to a peaceful sleep Saturday night October 20, 2019, and she never woke up. Visitation will be at Lakewood from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Friday before the funeral service and again at 10 a.m. to 11a.m. Saturday at Lakewood. Funeral Services will be held there at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at a later date in Lakewood Memorial Park, lying beside her one and only true love John Ray and her daughter Elizabeth. Betsy was born to Elizabeth and Harry Hulen on December 29, 1932 in Jackson, MS. She was the second after her sister Margaret “Babee” Hulen. Her mother Elizabeth was a notable Jackson attorney having argued cases before the Mississipi Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals, and the US Supreme Court. Betsy’s and Babee’s father, Col. Harry Hulen, served as a civil engineer in charge of government construction projects and as commander of the 106th engineering regiment in the Mississippi National Guard, a predecessor to the famous (in military circles) 347th Army engineering regiment that he organized and commanded through the war in Europe. Betsy and Babee had an older half-sister Frances Hulen Ritter. Frances’ mother tragically died in child birth of a second child. Frances served as the leader of this band of three strong-willed and successful women. Col. Hulen and Elizabeth found themselves on different roads of life as the great depression ended and war preparation commenced. They had an amicable separation, and both re-married. Then just shortly after Col. Hulen took the 347th overseas, the three sisters found themselves with a little brother, Harry Jr., almost exactly ten years younger than Betsy. Harry Jr. now finds himself grateful for Betsy, Babee, and Frances and the lessons he learned from them. Moving forward a couple of decades, Betsy enrolled at Millsaps College. There she met John Ray Barr on a blind date, destined to be the love of her life. Betsy majored in economics at Millsaps, flying through in three years. Betsy was the more studious of the two, and John Ray the more action-loving. Both had movie-star looks. John Ray was well known for his singing. He transferred to Ole Miss but not for long. The newly-organized Air Force together with the Korean War lured John Ray to his destiny. He saw the Air Force as his opportunity and his life’s work. Shortly after finishing cadet training and receiving his pilot wings in 1953, Lt. Barr and Betsy had a wedding that any bride would wish for and any groom would fear. Betsy and John Ray spent the next 25 years, centering on John Ray’s successful military career and raising their four children. Although often apart, they raised their children while moving from Lackland AFB, TX, to George AFB, CA; England AFB, LA; Chateauroux AB, France; Wiesbaden AB, Germany; Dobbins AFB, GA; Beale AFB, CA; Loring AFB, ME; and Offutt AFB NE. After promotion to Colonel in 1975, John Ray served as Deputy Director of Supply for the Strategic Air Command at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. He retired from the Air Force in 1978 and the family moved back to Mississippi. In 1979 John Ray began his second career and Betsy was free to stay in one place developing her own career. John Ray accepted a position with the Mississippi State Department of Health as Director of the then-new program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which is funded by the USDA. He served as president of the National Association of WIC Directors and received an award from the organization for outstanding leadership. He retired from state government in 1997. Betsy took courses in accounting to augment her degree in economics and true to form passed her CPA exams on the first try. She practiced accounting for 25 years, and served as First Vice President of the Jackson Area Chapter of the American Society of Women Accountants. As John Ray retired a second time, they fulfilled a dream, building a beautiful house on Lake Caroline, just north of Jackson. Betsy was her own architect and carefully drew a plan with an office and a separate entrance for her accounting clients. Amid the beautiful dream world came dark clouds. John Ray was diagnosed with cancer. His case was referred to Houston’s M D Anderson cancer hospital, one of the finest. Betsy rented an apartment near the hospital and moved there with him. Surgery affected his voice, once a singing voice, but John Ray handled it like the strong military man that he was. They hopefully moved back to Lake Caroline, but all too soon it became apparent that the cancer was still there. In a few weeks it overcame him. Betsy began to need help with household chores, and daughter Elizabeth moved in with her. Mother and daughter made the best of their time together while letting each other have needed freedom. Suddenly Elizabeth had pain that turned out to be a ruptured appendix. The first news after her surgery was good but turned suddenly, and she died that night. Without her daughter Elizabeth, Betsy saw that she needed assistance, and she moved to Kirby Pines Retirement Community in Memphis, TN, then The Watermark Retirement Community in Southbury, CT, where she lived her last years in their care. Betsy is survived by her brother Harry Hulen, her children John Lawrence (Larry) Barr, Steven Leroy Barr and Robert Hulen (Bob) Barr, her grandchildren are Rebecca Barr Loftus, Mitchell Thomas Barr, Jason Robert Barr and Lindsey Michelle Barr, her great-grandchildren Aidan John Loftus and Declan Caleb Loftus, and numerous nieces and nephews.


  • Visitation Friday, October 25, 2019
  • Visitation Saturday, October 26, 2019
  • Funeral Service Saturday, October 26, 2019


Elizabeth Hulen Barr

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Patsy Tolleson

October 26, 2019

We were so fond of John and Betsy as they lived across the street from us on Belle Pointe at Lake Caroline. I’m SO sorry we didn’t know about Betsy’s service today however, we have been out of town and were on a return flight from Charleston, S C at that time. Please accept our sincere sympathy for your loss. We would have enjoyed seeing all their sons and visiting with you. Our love and condolences to you all.
Patsy and Lavon Tolleson