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Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery

3969 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA

OBITUARY

Monteen Higgs Jarriel

August 11, 1925August 30, 2019
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Juanita “Monteen” Higgs Jarriel of Macon died peacefully at home on August 30, 2019 at 94. She was surrounded by loving family members when her soul took flight. Monteen is preceded in death by her husband, Edwin C. Jarriel; her parents, Victor and Sophie Smith Higgs; her brothers V.A. and Hubert; her sister, Pearl Hughes; and an infant child. She will be sorely missed by her children Eddie Jarriel (Denise), and Angela Jarriel Gregory (Jerry); her grandchildren Tal Gregory (Ashley) and Amanda “Mandi” Phillips (Ryan); her great-grandchildren, Olivia and Landon Gregory and Tray Kimbrough; sisters Vondell Collins, Jedon Stephens, Marita Etheridge; a brother Milton Higgs; family member Monica Gregory; caregivers Sabrina Davis, Sally Gay “Sassy Sally” Middlebrooks, Carlota Salazar, and Anita Mosely; and a host of loving nieces, nephews and family members who adored her. She was born on August 11, 1925 to Victor and Sophie Smith Higgs and raised in both Toombs and Tattnall County. Monteen’s family was very active in church. She and her sister, Jedon, sang in a church group — even cutting a record and performing on a Sunday morning radio show in the 1940s. Even in the last few weeks of her life, Monteen sang some of her favorite hymns and songs with family members and caregivers. She made friends every where she went, so many may remember her from her days working as a telegraph operator for Western Union in Savannah during and after World War II. Others may remember meeting her at a church revival in 1946, when she reconnected with grammar school classmate, Edwin Jarriel, who was just home from the war. The two became sweethearts, and after dating for two years, they married in Cobbtown. Their marriage lasted for 68 glorious years. Some folks may have crossed paths with her in or around Macon, where she and Edwin settled down, raised their son and daughter, and ran their business, AAA Trailer Hitch and U-Haul on Rocky Creek Road. Monteen also worked at Sears for years, back in the catalogue company’s heydays. Some people may remember running into her at a local fishing spot. She and Edwin were known for picking up and going fishing at the drop of a hat. Edwin didn’t get to fish much since he was usually tasked with setting Monteen’s bait or taking the fish off the hook for her. One year, they even went on a fishing trip to Oregon with their son, Eddie, and his wife, Denise. Monteen was the only person in the group to pull in a salmon that day. Still, others may remember seeing her at the mall. She was a serious shopper — a “shop ’til you drop” kind of gal. She and her daughter Angela spent hours on Saturdays hunting for bargains at Macon Mall. Monteen scoured the clearance racks and purchased garments that didn’t quite fit saying, “I bet Gloria can take this up for me.” She shopped so long sometimes that she’d forget where she parked. More than once, she had to call her husband to come out to the mall and drive her around the lot until they found her car. Neighbors and passersby may have witnessed the petite woman with the sweet smile tending her victory garden near Lake Tobesofkee. Monteen could grow it all — flowers and vegetables — and she always grew enough to share with others. Even after she began losing her balance and stumbling here and there, the family couldn’t keep her out of her backyard vegetable plot. Many people may have eaten something Monteen prepared at some point in life, and they would have remembered it because she was an extraordinary cook. She cooked thousands of meals for sick friends and family members. She was revered for the dishes and delicacies she whipped up for church potlucks, family reunions, and events. Monteen excelled at “farm to table cuisine” before it was a thing at ritzy restaurants. Her baked beans — beans swimming in a tangy sauce with strips of sizzling bacon resting on top — were the stuff of legends. Her fruit cake cookies were a divine holiday tradition. Her peach cobbler was so good it brought tears to people’s eyes. She will forever be known for her coconut cake — ultra-thin layers of moist, decadent cake slathered with creamy frosting and pearly coconut shavings. Together, she and Edwin were a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen — making jellies, canning salsa, sweet Vidalia onion relish, fig preserves, tomatoes, and many other homemade treasures. Women in the Bloomfield area of Macon may have sat beside Monteen at a local beauty shop, because Monteen believed in “getting her hair done” every Friday, and her hair was always a masterpiece. On Sundays before church, she asked Edwin to tease and style the hair in the back of her head because she couldn’t reach that far, and yes, he did it. Some may have sat next to her during a Sunday church service. Monteen and Ed often attended Pine Grove Missionary Baptist Church and Cedar Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Tattnall County, but they were members of First Assembly of God in Macon for over 50 years. So, perhaps you met Monteen at some point, but if you didn’t, you really missed out. She was a “giver,” and her sweet, caring nature and infectious smile would fill your cup for days, weeks, years and a lifetime. Whether you remember her with a fishing pole in her hand, a song in her heart or as the lovely lady down the street with the green thumb, Monteen’s life was a celebration of faith, family, fellowship and service and love for others. Those waiting for her in Heaven certainly rejoiced as she arrived with her many gifts and endless enthusiasm. And she most likely entered glory with one of her signature casseroles and a fresh-from-the-oven coconut cake. After all, Monteen never showed up to a family reunion empty handed. The family would like to extend a very special thanks to caregivers Sabrina Davis, Sally Gay “Sassy Sally” Middlebrooks, Carlota Salazar, and Anita Mosely. These incredible women were a guiding light to Monteen in her last few years with us. Special thanks go to Amy Waller, R.N., who was a true gift from God in her final days and Amber Lanier Nagle for beautifully composing this obituary. A celebration of her life is scheduled for 11:00 AM Tuesday at Parkway Assembly of God with interment to follow in Macon Memorial Park Cemetery. Pastor Joe E. Williams and Rev. Tommy Foskey will officiate. Visitation will be from 5:00 until 7:00 PM Monday at Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home. Visit www.maconmp.com to express tributes.

  • FAMILY

  • She will be sorely missed by her children Eddie Jarriel (Denise), and Angela Jarriel Gregory (Jerry); her grandchildren Tal Gregory (Ashley) and Amanda “Mandi” Phillips (Ryan); her great-grandchildren, Olivia and Landon Gregory and Tray Kimbrough; sisters Vondell Collins, Jedon Stephens, Marita Etheridge; a brother Milton Higgs; family member Monica Gregory; caregivers Sabrina Davis, Sally Gay “Sassy Sally” Middlebrooks, Carlota Salazar, and Anita Mosely; and a host of loving nieces, nephews and family members who adored her.

Services

  • Visitation Monday, September 2, 2019
  • A Celebration of Life Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Memories

Monteen Higgs Jarriel

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Belinda Coulter

September 3, 2019

Eddie and Denise, I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like your Mother was an amazing woman! Wish we could be there with you, but we are praying for comfort for you and your entire family.

Steve and Belinda Coulter

Kristin Day

September 2, 2019

Praying for you all. I know she will be missed greatly. Your mom and dad were great people.
-Kristin Collins-Day

Karen Maxwell

September 2, 2019

Thinking of you and your family during this time of loss. Praying for God’s comfort to surround you and uphold you.

Kevin & Carol Flynn

September 2, 2019

We are praying for y'all during this difficult time.
With much love,
Kevin & Carol

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Biography

Juanita “Monteen” Higgs Jarriel of Macon died peacefully at home on August 30, 2019 at 94.
She was surrounded by loving family members when her soul took flight.
Monteen is preceded in death by her husband, Edwin C. Jarriel; her parents, Victor and Sophie Smith Higgs; her brothers V.A. and Hubert; her sister, Pearl Hughes; and an infant child. She will be sorely missed by her children Eddie Jarriel (Denise), and Angela Jarriel Gregory (Jerry); her grandchildren Tal Gregory (Ashley) and Amanda “Mandi” Phillips (Ryan); her great-grandchildren, Olivia and Landon Gregory and Tray Kimbrough; sisters Vondell Collins, Jedon Stephens, Marita Etheridge; a brother Milton Higgs; family member Monica Gregory; caregivers Sabrina Davis, Sally Gay “Sassy Sally” Middlebrooks, Carlota Salazar, and Anita Mosely; and a host of loving nieces, nephews and family members who adored her.
She was born on August 11, 1925 to Victor and Sophie Smith Higgs and raised in both Toombs and Tattnall County.
Monteen’s family was very active in church. She and her sister, Jedon, sang in a church group — even cutting a record and performing on a Sunday morning radio show in the 1940s. Even in the last few weeks of her life, Monteen sang some of her favorite hymns and songs with family members and caregivers.
She made friends every where she went, so many may remember her from her days working as a telegraph operator for Western Union in Savannah during and after World War II. Others may remember meeting her at a church revival in 1946, when she reconnected with grammar school classmate, Edwin Jarriel, who was just home from the war. The two became sweethearts, and after dating for two years, they married in Cobbtown. Their marriage lasted for 68 glorious years.
Some folks may have crossed paths with her in or around Macon, where she and Edwin settled down, raised their son and daughter, and ran their business, AAA Trailer Hitch and U-Haul on Rocky Creek Road. Monteen also worked at Sears for years, back in the catalogue company’s heydays.
Some people may remember running into her at a local fishing spot. She and Edwin were known for picking up and going fishing at the drop of a hat. Edwin didn’t get to fish much since he was usually tasked with setting Monteen’s bait or taking the fish off the hook for her. One year, they even went on a fishing trip to Oregon with their son, Eddie, and his wife, Denise. Monteen was the only person in the group to pull in a salmon that day.
Still, others may remember seeing her at the mall. She was a serious shopper — a “shop ’til you drop” kind of gal. She and her daughter Angela spent hours on Saturdays hunting for bargains at Macon Mall. Monteen scoured the clearance racks and purchased garments that didn’t quite fit saying, “I bet Gloria can take this up for me.” She shopped so long sometimes that she’d forget where she parked. More than once, she had to call her husband to come out to the mall and drive her around the lot until they found her car.
Neighbors and passersby may have witnessed the petite woman with the sweet smile tending her victory garden near Lake Tobesofkee. Monteen could grow it all — flowers and vegetables — and she always grew enough to share with others. Even after she began losing her balance and stumbling here and there, the family couldn’t keep her out of her backyard vegetable plot.
Many people may have eaten something Monteen prepared at some point in life, and they would have remembered it because she was an extraordinary cook. She cooked thousands of meals for sick friends and family members. She was revered for the dishes and delicacies she whipped up for church potlucks, family reunions, and events. Monteen excelled at “farm to table cuisine” before it was a thing at ritzy restaurants. Her baked beans — beans swimming in a tangy sauce with strips of sizzling bacon resting on top — were the stuff of legends. Her fruit cake cookies were a divine holiday tradition. Her peach cobbler was so good it brought tears to people’s eyes. She will forever be known for her coconut cake — ultra-thin layers of moist, decadent cake slathered with creamy frosting and pearly coconut shavings.
Together, she and Edwin were a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen — making jellies, canning salsa, sweet Vidalia onion relish, fig preserves, tomatoes, and many other homemade treasures.
Women in the Bloomfield area of Macon may have sat beside Monteen at a local beauty shop, because Monteen believed in “getting her hair done” every Friday, and her hair was always a masterpiece. On Sundays before church, she asked Edwin to tease and style the hair in the back of her head because she couldn’t reach that far, and yes, he did it.
Some may have sat next to her during a Sunday church service. Monteen and Ed often attended Pine Grove Missionary Baptist Church and Cedar Creek Primitive Baptist Church in Tattnall County, but they were members of First Assembly of God in Macon for over 50 years.
So, perhaps you met Monteen at some point, but if you didn’t, you really missed out. She was a “giver,” and her sweet, caring nature and infectious smile would fill your cup for days, weeks, years and a lifetime. Whether you remember her with a fishing pole in her hand, a song in her heart or as the lovely lady down the street with the green thumb, Monteen’s life was a celebration of faith, family, fellowship and service and love for others. Those waiting for her in Heaven certainly rejoiced as she arrived with her many gifts and endless enthusiasm. And she most likely entered glory with one of her signature casseroles and a fresh-from-the-oven coconut cake. After all, Monteen never showed up to a family reunion empty handed.
The family would like to extend a very special thanks to caregivers Sabrina Davis, Sally Gay “Sassy Sally” Middlebrooks, Carlota Salazar, and Anita Mosely. These incredible women were a guiding light to Monteen in her last few years with us. Special thanks go to Amy Waller, R.N., who was a true gift from God in her final days and Amber Lanier Nagle for beautifully composing this obituary.
A celebration of her life is scheduled for 11:00 AM Tuesday at Parkway Assembly of God with interment to follow in Macon Memorial Park Cemetery. Pastor Joe E. Williams and Rev. Tommy Foskey will officiate. Visitation will be from 5:00 until 7:00 PM Monday at Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home.
Visit www.maconmp.com to express tributes.