Gilbert M. Barrett, 87
Born March 1, 1923 in Albany, GA; younger son of Alva Wallace Barrett & Marilu Byne Barrett. He attended Dougherty County schools, and graduated from Albany High School in the class of 1942. Mr. Barrett attended Auburn University and was an avid supporter and fan throughout his life.
He was a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity at Auburn. He was a member of St. Teresa’s Catholic Church. Mr. Barrett served in the US Army, 244th. Combat Engineer Battalion during World War II. He saw action in the European Theatre of operations from 1943-1946. Mr. Barrett farmed in Lee & Dougherty Counties for most of his life.
He was elected in 1958 and served as a Dougherty County commissioner for 40 years. He was elected chairman of the Dougherty County commission in 1978 and served until 1998. Mr. Barrett was appointed by President Reagan to Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations in 1982, reappointed in 1985, one of only 3 County Commissioners appointed by President Reagan who helped form “New Coalition” of counties, cities, and states, and was the sole appointee by President Ford to Federal Commission on Paperwork in 1975. He was elected as President of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia in 1981. He was honored by the dedication of SR234, Gillionville Rd., from Slappey Drive to the Calhoun Co. line as the Gil Barrett Highway by GA D.O.T on March 25, 1998. He testified before both Houses of Congress regarding the construction of roads. The Emergency Room and Trauma Center at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital was named in his honor on April 26, 1997. In May 2010, in his last public appearance, he was honored with the first key to Dougherty County for his role in making the landfill gas project a reality.
Mr. Barrett had been member of many non-profit organizations over the years. He served on the boards of: Lions Club, Elk’s Club, Albany Touchdown Club, Auburn Alumni Association, Phoebe Foundation, Knights of Columbus, Quail Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Kiwanis Club, the Walter Burt American Legion Post 30, and the Darton College Board of Trustees. A longtime member of the Chamber of Commerce, he served on the military affairs committee. He served as Chairman of the Dougherty Area Regional Transportation Board and the Albany/Dougherty Payroll Development Authority. He always enjoyed bird hunting, boating, and fishing. He always enjoyed the comfort & beauty of animals & had a lengthy list of dog’s names over the years. Mr. Barrett was very interested in the success of Chehaw Wild Animal Park. He was very interested in Native American history as well as the history of War Between the States and WWII.
He married to former Alice Norris Barrett who preceded him in death by four months. They were married for 64 years. He is survived by his 2 daughters: Ginny Morehead and her husband Lyon, Tulsa, OK, Becky Barrett, Albany; 4 grandchildren: Byne O’Lear, Gil Salemi, Mollie Morehead, Jacob Morehead; 2 great grandchildren: Ryan O’Lear and Hannah O’Lear; many nieces and nephews. Mr. Barrett’s funeral service will be THURSDAY 10 AM at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church with interment to follow at Crown Hill Cemetery. The Rev. Finbarr Stanton will officiate. The family will receive friends at Kimbrell-Stern on Wednesday from 4-6 PM. Those desiring may send memorials to the charity of your choice.
The Barrett family would like to thank the many friends who have been there for all of us especially the staff of caregivers who have been with the Barrett family for the past year and whom Mr. Barrett loved as his family. We also thank the Albany Community Hospice for their care.