Cover photo for Lynda Suarez Barrs's Obituary
Lynda Suarez Barrs Profile Photo

Lynda Suarez Barrs

September 7, 1948 — April 18, 2023

Lynda Suarez Barrs

Please join us in honoring and celebrating the life of Lynda Suárez Barrs at Warren Baptist on May 13th at 11am. Lynda would tell you that she lived her 74 years to the fullest – fullest with love, laughter, joy, and determination to care for others. Lynda loved a quote by Henry Van Dyke: “I shall grow old, but never lose life’s zest, because the road’s last turn will be the best.” Lynda loved a “turn in the road”, because it was always an adventure, both literally and metaphorically.

The second half of Henry Van Dyke’s quote is probably lesser known, but it speaks to Lynda’s character: “Some succeed because they are destined to, but most succeed because they are determined to.” Those who worked with Lynda in the community got to experience Lynda’s feisty determination first-hand. This sense of determination was fostered at an early age. Lynda was born and raised right here in Augusta in the neighborhood called Harrisburg. Her childhood home life was humble and even unstable at times, so Lynda got a job at the age of 10 to take care of her four younger siblings. She was determined they would have dinner on the table and Christmas presents under the tree. The desire to lessen the suffering of those she loved galvanized her sense of conviction to champion for the rights of others for the rest of her life as an advocate, social worker, and community builder.

Drawing on her own childhood experiences, Lynda focused the start of her career as a program director in various early childhood development programs. Her determination to continue to help and advocate for others evolved to protecting women and children from domestic violence. Identifying the fundamental need for stable housing for vulnerable populations, she embarked on a 27-year journey to serve the homeless and low-income families under the auspices of CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority, Inc. by spearheading and implementing housing programs, developing critical community partnerships, and securing hundreds of millions of dollars in grants and donations. While Lynda received many awards and accolades because of these accomplishments, Lynda’s last project she was working on when diagnosed with brain cancer was the one that brought her the most joy. It was a strategic plan for permanent housing options for the homeless. She was able to connect with so many people in the community (she was a talker!); she asked government leaders, nonprofits, community stakeholders, and especially the homeless to lend their voices to shape this vision and plan.

Every day, every opportunity, and every person Lynda met was a gift in Lynda’s eyes. This gave her great joy. In fact, her eyes and her spirit would sparkle with joy. She was quick to remind you that you were special and loved regardless of your provenance or stature. Her determination to live and love each day to the fullest included enjoying the beauty of nature with trips to the beach and the mountains. These excursions would always include a spontaneous side road trip, because something would catch Lynda’s eye. It was these side road trips that usually beheld the adventure that Lynda and her husband Randy enjoyed the most. Lynda lived to discover life’s treasures. Has it been mentioned yet that she also found much adventure in shopping, in books, and in playing practical jokes?

Lynda was a little girl from Harrisburg who grew up to become a woman who was deeply loved and respected by many. To many of us, it feels like she passed before her time, but if she were sitting across from you right now, she would tell you that she lived her life with zest and that this road’s last turn was the best, even while fighting cancer. Through it all, she still lived with love, laughter, joy, and determination.

She leaves behind many a heart missing her, but especially those of her family:

Her husband Randy Barrs (Chad, Liz, Bella, Addison); the father of her three daughters, Josh Suárez (Shirley); and her three daughters and their respective families: Anna Worthington (Frank, Ethan, Jasmine, Isaac, Ivan, Matthew, Haley, Brennan, Rae, Kendall); Nikki Suarez (Brock, Serene, Trey); Abril Deraney (Mark, Isobel, Isaac, Lilah). Lynda’s four younger siblings – Manuel, Johnathan, Michael, and Kathy all passed away before Lynda. May they rest in peace.

Family, friends, and colleagues will be honoring Lynda at Warren Baptist Church on May 13th at 11am. There will be a service, followed by a reception with light refreshments and, more importantly, a time for all of us to share in fellowship and the sharing of Lynda stories.

LYNDA WOULD ASK THAT YOU WEAR WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY (NO BLACK ATTIRE REQUIRED FOR THIS OCCASION!) AND TO ENJOY THE GIFT OF EACH OTHER’S COMPANY.
If you wish to help carry on Lynda’s vision, you may do so by donating to the following missions:

CSRA Community Foundation
720 St Sebastian Way #160
Augusta, GA 30901
Memo: Homeless Strategic Plan

Warren Cares Homeless Outreach
c/o Warren Baptist Church
3203 Washington Rd.
Augusta, GA 30907

SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare
199 Willow Run Rd.
Aiken, SC 29801
(Lynda was also concerned about homeless animals!)
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lynda Suarez Barrs, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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