Cover photo for Barbara Atha's Obituary
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1934 Barbara 2024

Barbara Atha

July 30, 1934 — January 6, 2024

Barbara Beatrice O’Dell Atha, 89, of Rockmart, Georgia, passed away peacefully on January 6, 2023. Born in Gillsville, Georgia she grew up in the Johnson and Johnson Mill village in Chicopee, Ga, just outside of Gainesville. She graduated from Gainesville High School. In her senior year of high school, she met the love of her life, John Atha.

After high school, Barbara attended nursing school at Crawford Long School of Nursing in Atlanta,GA. At that time, nurses in training were not allowed to be married, so in 1954, Barbara and John were secretly married in Walhalla, South Carolina. John served in the US Air Force while Barbara finished Nursing School.

After Barbara completed nursing school, the couple moved to Athens, Ga. Barbara worked full time at St Mary’s Hospital while John studied PreMed at the University of Georgia. In 1966, after Medical school and residency, they settled in Rockmart, Ga where John practiced medicine for 40 years, with Barbara’s support. Together, they raised 5 children - Donna, Karen, Ben, Walter and Tommy.

Barbara was an active member of Rockmart Presbyterian Church for many years. She filled in at John's office as a Registered Nurse, and volunteered for the American Red Cross blood drives , eventually earning her American Red Cross service pin.

Barbara encouraged and supported each of her children to pursue their dreams and aspirations. She loved to paint, and won several awards for her artwork. From Bible study to bridge games, to attending ballgames, dance recitals and musical performances, she was known for her stories, jokes and infectious laugh.

Barbara was preceded in death by her husband, John F. Atha, her parents, B.F. and Gladys O’Dell, her sister, Wilmanell Bryan, and her great-granddaughter Stella Rose Weller.

She is survived by her sisters, Patsy (George) Griffin and Jackie (Randall ) Smallwood, by her children, Donna (Mitch) Davitte, Karen (Kelly) Lynn, Ben (Tracy) Atha, Walt (Joe) Atha, and Tommy (Cathe) Atha, and by ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Monday afternoon, January 8, 2024 at 3:00 pm at Rockmart Presbyterian Church with Rev. Maryellen Hittel and Rev. Joe Brice officiating. Interment will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Monday from 1:00 pm until the funeral hour at the Rockmart Presbyterian Church.

Pallbearers will include Mitch Davitte, Kelly Lynn, Tommy Atha, Drew Weller, Joe Cherneski, Paul Knickerbocker, and Cody Ralston.

In memory of Barbara's life, donations may be made to Rockmart Presbyterian Church.

Alvis Miller & Son Funeral Home & Crematory is in charge of arrangements for Barbara Beatrice O’Dell Atha.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Atha, please visit our flower store.


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