Tommye Lue Dabbs Barry

It is with great sadness that the family of Tommye Lue Dabbs Barry announces her passing after a brief illness, on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at the young age of 95.  Tommye Lue will be lovingly remembered by her sons, Rick Barry and wife Cheri, and Lou Barry and wife Kelly.  Her eldest son, William Thomas “Bill” Barry, predeceased her and is survived by his wife, Amy and her son Joey Majors.  She will also be missed by her grandchildren Brent (Dana) Barry, Lauren (Todd) Versteegh, Jennifer (David) Fowler, Jay Barry, Merritt (Summer) Barry, Sara (Jonatan) LaRocca-Ramm, Amanda Barry and Louis Barry.  She leaves behind 8 great-grandchildren; Faith, Cameron, Blake, George Bass, Avery, John Hayes, Wynter and Rowen and 2 more that are on the way.  She also leaves behind a multitude of family, friends and former students who have come to know and love her over of the years.

Tommye Lue was born on December 20, 1922, to Bessie Box and Thomas M. Dabbs.  She had one sister, Elizabeth Dabbs Woodall.  Tommye Lue grew up in Quitman, MS and lived there until she left for college in 1940.  She began her college career at the University of Southern Mississippi (known then as Mississippi Southern) where she was a member of the Mu Omega sorority (now known as Chi Omega).  She graduated from USM in 1943 with a B.S. in Home Economics and a minor in Science.  In January 1944, Tommye Lue worked for Cities Service Refining Corp. as a lab technician, in Sulphur, Louisiana.  After leaving Louisiana and working at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, MS for about a year, she decided to move back to her hometown of Quitman, MS.

After moving to Quitman, Tommye Lue began a courtship with John W. Barry and they married on August 17, 1947 in a ceremony at the First United Methodist Church of Quitman.   In 1951, when their youngest was about 1 year old, they built the home that she lived in for the rest of her life.  It is directly across the street from the Methodist church where she sang in the choir, where her mother was the pianist and where her children grew up in the Methodist faith.

Tommye Lue began her teaching career some time around 1947 and she taught various grades in the Quitman school system.  She later obtained her Masters Degree from William Carey and continued teaching until her retirement in 1986/87. She came out of retirement to teach an additional year when the public kindergarten program was implemented at the school. She left behind a 40-year legacy that not many will forget.  She remembered fondly how much she enjoyed running into former students and learning what they were doing in their lives. 

After retirement, Tommye Lue kept very busy, particularly with traveling.  She saw many of the sites that she had taught about to her students.  She saw the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, she climbed to the crown of the Statue of Liberty, she visited Vegas and her many slot machines, she saw Old Faithful in its full eruption and got to see San Francisco and Hawaii.  She was very moved by standing on the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, as she had lived through the great despair of WWII.  But her greatest trip was to Italy.  She was able to see all of the cathedrals, buildings, paintings and statues that she had taught about for so many years.  Her favorite of all was the Sistine Chapel…it was unbelievable in her eyes.  She enjoyed life to the fullest during her retirement years.  What a blessing for her and to her family and friends.

Tommye Lue is preceded in death by her husband, John W. Barry, her parents, Thomas M. Dabbs and Bessie Box Dabbs, and her sister Elizabeth Dabbs Woodall.   

Arrangements:   Visitation will be held at Wrights Funeral Home in Quitman, MS on Sunday, July 22, 2018 from 4pm to 7pm and from 9am to 10am on Monday, July 23, 2018 at First United Methodist Church.  A service will be held at First United Methodist Church on Monday, July 23, 2018 at 10:00am, followed by a graveside service at Oddfellows Cemetery. Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Brent Barry, Jay Barry, Merritt Barry, along with David Fowler, Tom Woodall and Bill Woodall.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the First United Methodist Church of Quitman or a charity of your choice.