FLAG POND — Olive P. Barnes, age 97, of Flag Pond, passed away Monday, August 1, 2011, at the Appalachian Christian Village in Johnson City.
She was a native of Unicoi County, and a daughter of the late Hiram Luther and Bertha Stockton Phillips. Olive graduated from Washington College Academy High School in 1932 and attended East Tennessee Normal School (ETSU) for two years.
After graduation she taught at Roseville and Flag Pond Schools. She was a member of Jennie Moore Memorial Presbyterian Church since February 6, 1938. Olive was the Flag Pond Postmaster in 1959 until her retirement 19 years later in 1978.
Other than her parents, she is preceded in death by a sister, Eunice P. Rice; and her son, Philip Rice and husband, Carl Barnes.
Beloved Carl, the life partner of Olive, loved his wife with an undying passion. The cherished couple had no children, yet the teacher merited the title of mother in her own right. Both invaluable sister and irreplaceable best friend, Eunice effervescently lived her life alongside Olive — the sisters were practically inseparable.
God bestowed upon Eunice two offspring, Margaret and Philip. Henceforth, the Heavenly Father graced these siblings with two mothers. Olive Barnes was not merely, “Aunt Olive” — she was so much more. By choice, Olive “adopted” the children. From generation to generation, Olive retained her matronly role.
Olive’s family expanded as Margaret and Jim begat Becky, Ellen, and Greg, while Philip and wife Beverly fathered Anna. Becky, Ellen, Greg, and Anna were Olive’s chosen “grandchildren.” Due to her long life, Olive witnessed the unfolding of her family for generations. Jesse, Meaghan, Faith, Abigail, Cambron and Grace are Olive’s “great-grandchildren” at heart. Keith, Addison, and Jack (and Lilly Kate) are the young “great-great-grandchildren” who laughed as they sat upon Olive’s lap. Last but certainly not least, Rusty, the ever-faithful feline companion of Olive, was with her through all of the laughs and all of the tears. The two grew old together.
The funeral service will be held on Thursday, August 4, 2011, at 2:00 PM in the Chapel of Valley Funeral Home. Reverend James Cambron will officiate. Musical selections will be provided by Gail, Faith and Grace Cambron.
Visitation with the family will be held on Thursday from 1:00 PM until service time at Valley Funeral Home.
The committal service will immediately follow the service at Evergreen Cemetery.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at www.valleyfuneralhome.net.
These arrangements are made especially for the family and friends of Olive P. Barnes through Valley Funeral Home, 1085 N. Main Ave., Erwin. 423-743-9187