Cover photo for James Barrow Jr.'s Obituary
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James Barrow Jr.

April 3, 1949 — July 12, 2023

James Barrow Jr.

James Barrow, Jr.

Augusta, GA - James Barrow, Jr., age 74, died July 12, 2023 at his home in Augusta, GA. He was also a resident of Athens, GA. He was the son of Superior Court Judge James Barrow and Phyllis Jenkins Barrow of Athens and brother to Ruth Barrow Bracewell (Mike), Phyllis Barrow Nelson (Don), Tom Barrow (Kathy), Church Barrow Crow (Hal, deceased), and John Barrow (Angelé) along with many nieces and nephews.

Jim was smart and creative with a curious mind. He always had a twinkle in his eye and was constantly observing and thinking. He was mischievous and blessed with a razor-sharp wit. Jim was athletic and enjoyed playing football, softball and soccer. He was a smooth dancer with a wonderful singing voice. Always a music lover, Fleetwood Mac was his favorite band and House of the Rising Sun his favorite song. He loved watching classic movies and westerns with The Wind and the Lion as his favorite movie. His kind heart frequently pulled for the underdog (except for UGA football). He was a voracious reader. He and his Dad shared a love for Louis L’lamour and Horacio Hornblower books.

Jim grew up in Athens on Finley Street at the Tree That Owns Itself (which he frequently climbed) and on Dearing Street. He lived just up the hill from UGA Sanford Stadium. At the age of 10, he began selling cokes and programs during UGA football games to earn extra money. Jim was active in Boy Scouts, was a strong swimmer and achieved a Boy Scout lifeguard designation. He was a member of DeMolay International at Athens High School.

Both Jim’s parents and his maternal grandmother, Ruth Parker Jenkins, were early advocates of civil rights during the integration of UGA. They took the right stand in spite of what others thought about it. Jim’s Dad was Athens City Attorney before being elected Superior Court Judge. His Dad took young Jim with him to the FBI and GBI headquarters during the UGA integration of 1961 and the investigation of the murder of Lt. Colonel Lemuel Penn in 1964. Jim remembered seeing all the rifles lined up along the wall and realized the importance and danger of what his father was doing. It had a huge impact on Jim the rest of his life and he treated everyone with kindness and respect.

Jim suffered through undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in his childhood. He was tested as an adult and scored in the 93rd percentile in intelligence. He attended North Georgia College (NGC) for a year and did not know what he wanted to do with his future. His parents, both of whom were U.S. Army veterans, worried about him going to fight near the end of the Vietnam War and urged him to stay in school at North Georgia. So he intentionally flunked out and enlisted in the U.S. Army as an 82nd Airborne paratrooper stationed at Fort Bragg N.C.

Jim thought being a paratrooper would conquer his fear of heights but it never did. He was scared every time he jumped. He was not sent to Vietnam even though he wanted to fight for his country. He said joining the Army was the best thing he ever did. It made him grow up.

Because he was smart, he was promoted to company clerk which had many perks for him. He handled all the paperwork for his unit, including high-ranking commissioned officers, and nothing moved forward unless he acted on it. Jim served his two-year tour of duty and was proud of his service to his country.

Jim made his second trip back to North Georgia College but this time he had the G.I. bill and a part-time job in the Dining Hall so he could eat his meals for free. He did not have to serve in North Georgia’s Corp of Cadets because he was a veteran and could live off campus. He made the most of it.

Jim only studied the night before a test, frequently cut class to play cards or pool in the Student Center, met the love of his life, Sallyanne, and was passionate about deer hunting, playing poker, fraternity and sorority parties and dances. He said the Army taught him what the real world was like and he was going to stay at North Georgia as long as he could. He stayed five years the second time and often said no one ever had more fun in college than he did.

Jim worked summers in high school for Mathis Construction Company in Athens and delivered building supply materials, with his fraternity brothers during college summers, for a business in Atlanta. He was extremely mechanical and learned how to do plumbing, wiring, construction, and auto repair. Later on, he completely wired an old historic building in Oglethorpe County with no assistance.

Jim earned a BS in Psychology and minored in juvenile delinquency from North Georgia. He received a Master’s in School Social Work from UGA. He completed all the required courses at UGA for a PhD in Child and Family Development when his son, Sam, was diagnosed with autism at age 3 and Type 1 diabetes at 6 years of age which required Jim to take the most important job of his life and become a phenomenal stay-at-home parent.

Jim actually diagnosed Sam’s autism when Sam was a year old. Sam did not cry when he was born, would not make eye contact, walked on his toes, and did not make a sound until he was 4. There was no prevalence of internet then. Jim talked with a UGA professor who was a specialist in autism and a good friend working on her PhD in autism. He read everything he could find. He told Sallyanne to get ready to help raise an autistic child. Jim said they brought Sam into the world and had a duty to care for him as best they could. He warned her their life would be a lot harder and it was.

He took care of everything for sons Jim and Sam and was a perfectionist concerning their needs. He routinely volunteered at St. Joseph Catholic School for lunch duty, recess duty, and field trips. The children loved him, and all wanted to play with Jim at recess because he was so much fun. Famous for his homemade, perfect Almost Fudge crème-de-menthe brownies, he delivered those in batches for years at Christmas and end of school year to the administrative staff and Jim and Sam’s teachers at St. Joseph and all Oglethorpe County schools. People would frequently stop him and ask during the year when they were getting their next batch of brownies.

He was a strong, caring, wonderful caregiver with loads of common sense and when there was a need in the family he rose to the occasion. Jim was his father’s nighttime caregiver when his Dad had an extensive hospitalization for back surgery as well as staying up at least one night a week for a year with his nephew, Clute Barrow Nelson, who was battling a brain tumor.

Jim was a very cool guy who marched to the beat of his own drum. He didn’t suffer fools lightly. He abhorred arrogance and greed and surrounded himself with genuine friends who had a sense of humor. He loved life, enjoyed his own wicked sense of humor, and made people laugh until the end of his days while never drawing attention directly to himself.

Jim had slow, progressive dementia for nine years, but it really slammed him seven weeks before his death. Jim fought the dementia with his tenacity and physical strength until he took his last breath. He is survived by his loving and adored wife Sallyanne Crawford Barrow, his devoted son James Barrow, and the apple of his eye, son Samuel Pope Barrow.

Thomas Poteet & Son Funeral Directors, 214 Davis Rd., Augusta, GA 30907 (706) 364-8484. Please sign the guestbook at www.thomaspoteet.com
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