In the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 5, 2022, Arthur Julius “A.J.” Barbee completed his earthly journey, joining his beloved wife Jerry. A.J. was born May 30, 1932, in Durham, N.C., and was the son of Arthur Julius and Macie Maynard Barbee.
A.J. was a graduate of Durham High School, Class of 1951. Following graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving active duty aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Korean conflict. Upon completion of service to his country, A.J. married his high school sweetheart, Jerry. They enjoyed 68 years of marriage before her passing on July 24, 2022, and were blessed with four daughters. In 1953 A.J. joined McLean Trucking Company with whom he was employed for over 30 years. During their years spent in Statesville, A.J. was an active member of First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a deacon and the Statesville Kiwanis Club. In 1983, A.J. and Jerry relocated to Elizabeth City, N.C., where he continued his sales career with Consolidated Freight and he eventually retired from Yellow Freight Systems. Upon retirement, they resided in Nags Head, Beaufort, N.C., and Roaring Gap, where they enjoyed golfing, boating and spending time with friends.
A.J. was predeceased by his wife, parents, his sisters, Mary Edna Hughes and Julia Faye Vogue, and daughter, Kimberly Kay Barbee Brady.
Those left to cherish A.J.’s memory are daughters Stephanie Barbee Pope (Steven), Ann Barbee Speaks (Rodger), and Beth Barbee Davidson (Joe). Grandchilden who lovingly called him Papa are Joshua Walden (Beth), Matthew Walden, Clay Speaks (Falon), Whitney Speaks Byrd (Jones), Caroline Speaks Ciampanella (Eric), Suzannah Kay Davidson (Robert Whitehurst), Laurie Claire Davidson (James Peebles), Jason Brady (Angie) and Jeremy Brady. A.J. is further survived by his great grandchildren Kylie, Harper, Hattie, Anna, Macie and Sawyer, and several nieces and nephews. Always the consummate Southern gentleman with a quick wit, he will be missed by his loving family and his rescue kitty of 19 years, Foxy.
A private Celebration of Life Service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Statesville at a later date. The family is appreciative of the excellent care, love and support provided in A.J.’s final days by Gordon Hospice House. Those wishing to make memorials may consider First Presbyterian Church of Statesville, The Gordon Hospice House or OcraCats (www.ocracats.org).
Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.