Barbara Jones Hiers
Barbara Jones Hiers, daughter of Ezekiel Candler Jones and Ruth Post Jones, passed away peacefully on June 6, 2018, at age 86. Barbara and her husband of almost 66 years, James B. Hiers Jr., have been proud residents of Cleveland since 1992. One of five sisters, Barbara fiercely loved her "sisterhood" members, Ruth, Bette, Sara and Patsy.
Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, and sisters, Ruth Knutsen, Bette Eberhard, and Sara Davis.
Barbara was born July 30, 1931, in West Palm Beach, as "Sister Number Four" in the loving five-sister ensemble. As vice president and freight engineer with Central of Georgia Railroad, Barbara's father was often transferred to various railroad hub cities throughout the Southeast. Since they always had each other, Barbara and her sisters made the absolute best of their unique itinerant experience of being raised in West Palm Beach, Tampa, Jacksonville, New Orleans and Macon.
One of Barbara's most exciting memories was living on Apricot Street (now known as Walmsley Street) in New Orleans during the time of World War II. On a day she never forgot, 10-year-old Barbara and her older sisters, Ruth, Bette and Sara, were enjoying a movie in New Orleans early on a Sunday afternoon in December 1941, when the film was abruptly halted for an unbelievable announcement: Pearl Harbor had been bombed, and all military personnel in the theatre were to immediately report to their bases. Like the majority of Americans during those scary times, the Jones family would spend the next four years of their lives in New Orleans huddled around the family radio at night, anxiously listening to war news from abroad.
The Jones family eventually left New Orleans for Macon. Barbara often remarked how much the close-knit Jones family enjoyed living on Briarcliff Road in Macon. She especially enjoyed her "alone" times with her father, affectionately known to family members as "Big Daddy," during their morning drives to school.
Barbara graduated from Miller High School, an all-girls school, in Macon in 1949. She attended Mercer University for her freshman and sophomore years, where she pledged Alpha Delta Pi sorority. It was during a chaperoned Alpha Delta Pi summer trip for fraternities and sororities to Saint Simons Island that Barbara fell head over heels in love with the man who would become her future husband for over six decades.
The two had so much fun on their first encounter together, Jim insisted Barbara break her already arranged Saturday night date with someone else and go out with him instead. When the poor fellow asked why she was breaking their date, Barbara blurted out, "Because I'm in love, that's why!"
Barbara and Jim were married on her 21st birthday at the First Christian Church in Decatur. The newlyweds began their lives together in Memphis (where the heat and humidity were so intense in the summer, they would often go the movies just to enjoy the air conditioning), before returning to Decatur. Barbara and Jim purchased their first home on Wayland Circle in Brookhaven in 1953. With so many young couples and children moving into the neighborhood, the 1950s were a special time on Wayland Circle. Barbara and Jim developed deep life-long friendships with many of the Wayland Circle families.
Wayland Circle was the first of many homes for Barbara and her family. Jim entered the legal profession in 1958, and later became a founding partner in the law firm Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers (now with over 140 lawyers). The Hiers family was blessed to live in many fine homes in the Druid Hills, Buckhead, North Springs and Midtown areas of Atlanta. Of all the Atlanta area homes the family lived in over the years, Barbara's all-time favorite residence was their home on Lullwater Road near the Emory University campus.
Family meant the world to Barbara, and she took great pride and joy in her three children, Bo, Jan and Chris, as well as her three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. All held an extra special place in Barbara's heart.
Known to family and friends as "Big B," she loved their time in Cleveland, and was especially proud of their residence, a beautiful Victorian home built in 1906, with a stunningly picturesque view of Mt. Yonah. The home originally sat near the town square in Cleveland, but was moved shortly before Big B and Jim purchased the home. The home is now known as the Miller-Dixon-Hiers home.
The First Presbyterian Church in Cleveland has always been an integral part of Big B and Jim's life in Cleveland. They are charter members of the church, with Jim serving as Clerk of the Session for over 20 years. Barbara was instrumental in bringing the Stephen Ministries program to First Presbyterian Church. With her caring personality and terrific listening skills, she was a natural as a Stephens Minister. She also proudly sang in the First Presbyterian choir, along with her daughter, Jan, and big sister, Sara.
Big B was known to all who intimately knew her as an incredibly caring, fun-loving, unselfish and kind person. To know her was to love her. Even when she knew her medical condition was terminal and her body was ravaged with disease, her only real concern was how you were doing. Big B's little sister Patsy described her beloved big sister this way: "The most loving, non-judgmental, honest and funniest friend in the world, who happens to be my sister!"
Barbara is survived by her husband of 65 years, James B. Hiers Jr.; children, James. B. Hiers III (Dianne), Janet Hiers Baker (Teddy), and Christopher Candler Hiers (Beth); sister, Patricia Jones Smith; grandchildren, Matthew Christopher Hiers, Catherine Leigh Loggins and Melissa Hiers Brady; great-grandchildren, Audrey Leigh Hildebran, Joel Lawrence Hildebran, Kate Walsh Loggins and Fletcher Andrew Hiers.
The memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 14, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, followed by a reception and visitation with family in the Hutcheson Fellowship Hall until 3:30 p.m. Officiating the service will be the Rev. Dr. Gary Bagley, the Rev. Dr. Roe Callaway, and the Rev. Jeff Hutcheson, Ph.D.
Donations in Barbara's memory may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland, 147 N. Main St., Cleveland, GA 30528.
To share a memory of Barbara or to leave a condolence, please visit www.barrettfh.com.
Barrett Funeral Home of Cleveland is in charge of arrangements.
White County News - Cleveland, Georgia
June 14, 2018