Virginia Dixon Culbreath Barron
August 7, 1917 – March 18, 2012
Virginia Dixon Culbreath Barron, formerly of Rome, GA, a Southern lady with a remarkable intellect, died March 18, 2012 in Asheville, NC, where she had lived since 1998.
Known as Dickey to most of her friends, she was an icon in Rome, where she spent most of her life, and was beloved by old and young alike.
“She was one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever known. Her mind was like a steel trap”, said retired financial advisor, Cecil Baker (Buster) Wright, III, a former next-door neighbor and life-long friend. “Dickey was interested in everything, including genealogy, and she knew more about my family than most of us in it. She was the epitome of a terrific mother, not only to her children, but all of their friends as well.” His wife, Janice Bracken Wright, an Episcopal priest who had carried on daily e-mail correspondence with Dickey, will conduct the memorial service in Rome, GA.
Born August 7, 1917 in Grantville, GA, Dickey was the daughter of the late Leta Meriweather Arnold and C.C. Culbreath. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Zeddie Pleasant Barron, who died in 1993.
After graduating from Newnan (GA) High School, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Shorter College in Rome and a master’s degree in chemistry from Emory University in Atlanta. Her children will proudly tell you that she was one of the first women ever accepted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for its doctoral program in chemistry. However, Dickey pursued her PhD in chemistry at the University of Chicago because her mother preferred a Baptist school if she had to be North of the Mason-Dixon line.
Dickey married Zeddie Pleasant Barron Jr. in 1940. She taught at Shorter College as well as Darlington School, and wrote briefly for the Rome News-Tribune, while her husband served in the US Army during WWII. Following the war, she became an active volunteer and served on the boards of the Junior Service League, Community Concerts, Darlington Mothers Club, Floyd Hospital, Rome Floyd County Library and the Colonial Dames.
The Barrons served as Rome parents for many Darlington School boarding students before the school organized a formal program. Among them were brothers, Bill and Bob Smith of Tallahassee, FL. “Dickey became my mom away from home and, boy, she was a good one,” said Bill Smith. “She fed me on weekends, let me borrow her car, washed my clothes when they needed and had an incredible influence on my life. She and her late husband Zeddie were the best set of second parents I could have asked for…Dickey was incredibly smart, generous and strict. Her value system was strong and her love for me was overwhelming, just as my love for her was.”
Robin Davis Byars, her neighbor in Rome, remembers Dickey as always smiling. “She remembered birthdays and all special occasions. She shared time with family and friends at Sea Island where she loved to take them crabbing and shell-hunting. She loved nature and she knew names of all plants and trees,” Byars said.
With good friends Margie Harbin, Nancy Starr, Virginia Summer, Virginia Willingham, among others, Dickey would bike miles daily on the Berry College campus. She cherished friendships with her Shorter Heights neighbors
She is survived by her son, Thomas Arnold Barron and his wife, Jane Henderson Barron, of Tallahassee, FL, her daughter, Merriweather Barron McLean and her husband, Dr. Lee McLean, of Asheville and five grandchildren, Elizabeth, Rebecca and Anne Barron, all of Tallahassee, FL, Will McLean of Chapel Hill, NC and Cate McLean of Aspen, CO.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM at Myrtle Hill Cemetery in Rome, GA with the Reverend Janice Bracken Wright officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Deerfield Employee Appreciation Fund, 1617 Hendersonville Road, Asheville, NC 28803, the Rome-Floyd County Library, 205 Riverside Parkway, Rome, GA 30161 or to Darlington School, 1014 Cave Spring Road, Rome, GA 30161.
- Graveside Service Saturday, March 24, 2012
Virginia Dixon Culbreath Barron
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March 23, 2012
She was a Special person and Friend. I always enjoyed her visits when she would bring me something to sew for her. Know that you are in my thoughts and Prayers.
Osgood Willingham II
March 23, 2012
A friend and guiding angel for my lifetime.
March 22, 2012
I have been thinking of all the fun and the interesting times that my brother Frank and I spent with Aunt Dickey and Uncle Zeddie Barron in Rome, Newnan, Sea Island, Charleston and Ashville. I remember battles with clothes pin guns in Rome, hunting for fairy crosses in Blue Ridge, plus walking on the beach and crabbing at Sea Island. Dickey was always interested in everything and everybody. Dickey knew all the news of the day by 9:00 A.M., and she could tell you who lived where and to whom they were related. I am a better, wiser person for having spent time with my Aunt Dickey. She made me want to learn and explore my family's history and Georgia history. When my wife Margaret and I last visited with Dickey in Ashville, she still wanted to know things about our family genealogy, and she wanted to know about our children and their activities. She was a very special aunt, and I am so grateful that she was a part of my life. Love to Tom and Jane, Elizabeth, Rebecca, and Anne, and Merri and Lee, Will and Cate. You are in our thoughts and prayers, and may the grace of our Lord be with you in this time of loss. The memories and love will be there always. Love, Chip and Margaret Barron
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