Ava Barlow - sq

Ava Dianne Barlow

October 1, 1954 - November 6, 2018

Funeral services for Ava Dianne Britnell Barlow, age 64 of Leonard, are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Leonard with Doug Welborn, Chad Leutwyler, and Denny Gorena officiating. Pallbearers are Nathan Parks, Bo Damesworth, Gayland Gilbert, Mark Buchanan, Danny Doyle and David Norman. Burial will follow at Leonard Cemetery with Dewey Watson officiating. Family visitation is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 9, from 6-8 p.m. at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home in Leonard.

Ava was born Oct. 1, 1954 in Marshall, the daughter of Charles Olan Britnell and Dorothy Frances Chambless Britnell. She graduated from Kirby High School in Woodville in 1973. In January 1974 she attended a southern gospel singing convention in Woodville and met Jimmy Barlow, and they married three months later on April 20, 1974. The couple first lived in Plano where Ava worked at Plano General Hospital until their first of four kids was born in 1979. At that time, she became a stay-at-home mom and homemaker extraordinaire. They welcomed their second and third kids in 1981 and 1984, moved to Leonard in 1985, and welcomed their last child in 1986.

In Leonard, Ava quickly became active in numerous church and civic organizations and activities – on top of playing taxi driver, chef and number one fan for her four kids in their various activities. The family joined First Baptist Church, and Ava began a faithful 32-year span of service to her Lord through teaching Bible classes, Vacation Bible School, music classes, GAs and Awana. Her gift was serving and she loved to honor her Lord and church by serving in whatever capacity was needed.

In the community, Ava got involved in the Leonard Chamber of Commerce where she spearheaded the annual Christmas Toy Drive that provided gifts to over 200 children in need, and was a member of the Leonard Picnic Committee for several years that planned the town’s annual anniversary celebration. She received special recognition in 2013, and in 2014 was honored as the Leonard Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. She was also an active member of the Adult FCA huddle.

As the kids got older, Ava worked outside of the home as a secretary, substitute teacher, office assistant and lastly as ad salesperson/staff writer for The Leonard Graphic newspaper where her go-getter attitude was a perfect fit.
Ava loved her hometown and the people in it, and one example of that love was in 2010-11 when she wholeheartedly dedicated her time and resources to raise over $40,000 for the family of a local student who needed a double lung transplant.

Ava and Jimmy stayed heavily involved in the southern gospel music conventions, but especially so in the recent “empty nest” years as both were more available to serve as officers for various conventions and singing schools. They would travel hundreds to thousands of miles to attend singing conventions many weekends. Both were published songwriters, and one of her songs will be performed at her funeral service.

Her hobbies included spending time with her pride-and-joy grandkids, gardening, collecting Coca Cola memorabilia, antiques, sewing, taking photos and traveling with her husband.

After a courageous 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Ava passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her family on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.

Survivors include her husband, Jimmy Barlow of Leonard; son and daughter-in-law, Andy and Mary Barlow of Rockport; daughters and sons-in-law, Betsy and Jason Blevins of Leonard, Elizabeth and Michael Kidd of Leonard and Lindy and Brian Walker of Woodville; grandchildren, Allison Blevins of Leonard, Aubrey Barlow of Rockport, Riley Walker of Woodville, Taylor Blevins of Leonard, Avery Barlow of Rockport, Hazel Walker of Woodville, and Elanna Kidd expected to arrive in January 2019; mother and step-father, Dorothy and Sherman Powell of Woodville; mother-in-law, Betty Pattillo of Leonard; siblings, Jan and Scott Kendall of Georgetown, Iris and Stanley Hensarling of Hillister, Rodney and Paula Britnell of Winnie, Lindsey and Marilyn Britnell of Warren, Frances and John Baker of Warren, and Philip Britnell of Woodville; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and step-siblings.
She was preceded in death by her father, Charles Olan Britnell, and first step-father, Ralph Harrell.

Tax-deductible memorial donations may be made to the Texas Southern Gospel School of Music. Make checks payable to TSGSM and mail to Pauline Thompson TSGSM Treasurer, 305 Trailwood Dr., Crockett, TX 75835. Those donors who provide a return address will receive a receipt for tax-deduction purposes.

Memorials Would you like to say a few words? Click Here +

Grams, I loved you so much, and I miss you even more, and I didn't even know that was possible. So many people loved you and miss you as well. You don't know how much I would give to have a genuine face-to-face conversation with you. You have no idea how many lives you touched. You have no idea how many people came up to me at some point after the funeral that said it was such a unique and special funeral for an even more special lady. You held such a special place in my heart. Every time I hear the song, "Never Once" by Matt Redman, it brings me to tears because it reminds me of you and how it was your favorite song. The last time I was in choir several weeks ago and also the last time you got to see me sing was the same time the choir sang Never Once. I will never forget how you came up to me after service that day and told me that you appreciated the choir singing that song. That was probably one of the last church services you were able to attend. You were so special to me. All the times you and Granddally took Taylor and I along with y’all to all those singing conventions you went to. Those were the fun times. All the times we stayed with y’all when mom and dad went out of town for a parents-only trip! You always made sure we understood that Jesus loved us. Whenever I was smaller and would ride with you somewhere, we would take turns saying “Thank you God for making....” and then we would say something that we were thankful for. And right now, I am saying, “Thank you God for the life you granted Grams and the 14 years you gave us to spend with each other.” You were so proud of us. I was so proud of your confidence in your Savior, Jesus Christ. Everyone knew you loved your Savior, and that is such a great thing. I love you so much Grams. You hold a special place in my heart. I miss you so much, and everyone else does too. I am going to have a fun time telling little Miss Elanna and Miss Hazel of how great of a grandma you were to us. How big of a legacy you left for us to look up to. How big of an influence you had on many people. I feel blessed to have been granted 14 years with you. I have one more thing I want to say before I’m done. That one thing is to one specific thing, cancer… Oh cancer, you are quite possibly the worst thing on this Earth. I really don’t like you, but I have one thing I want to say to you. I know a lot of people say that cancer won this time, but let me tell you that nothing you could have done could ultimately defeat my grandma because she had the ultimate victory - the victory in Jesus Christ that she found and met many years ago. You might’ve taken her away from us on this Earth, but you did not take her away from us. One of these days, we are going to fly away like that old Gospel song says and we are going to see her again!! That is the most exciting part of this. Anyway, the moral of the story is that cancer did not win. Nothing but the blood of Jesus Christ won! The victory was won a long long time ago! I love you Grams! I’ll see you again one day! Here is the last family picture we had made by a photographer. It was taken in 2016 before she was diagnosed for the first time in June of 2017!
Allison Blevins, November 26, 2018
I am so sorry for your loss and can only imagine you and your family's sense of loss and grief. However Ava is now home with her Creator communing in the cool of the garden as The Lord intended at creation. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." [Rom 15:13 NIV]
Tommi Scheler, November 12, 2018 Ava we will miss you, our friendship was too short in this world.I was remembering today a moment that happened earlier in the year.We were all at a red back Hymnal on Ennis Texas.Jimmy ,Ava ,Joni and myself.The singing had ended,Ava and.I were still in the church visiting with others,Joni had left to move our vehicle around to pick me up.Ava came over to where I was sitting and said,well I see Joni finally left you , at church even. Then she loudly announced it,Steve has been left at church by his wife,lol......She had a great since of humor. . Steve Latham, November 10, 2018 Jimmy and family, We are so saddened to learn of Ava's death. Please accept our condolences May she rest in peace. Gerard and Terri Kelley, November 10, 2018 May Ava rest in peace. She was such a positive person, and it was a joy to know her. God Bless. Beth Ann Seale , November 10, 2018 Jimmy, You and your family are in our hearts and prayers. I know no words can ease the pain you and your family have endured throughout this ordeal. Mark St. Aubin, November 9, 2018 So sweet to read about Ava's wonderful life and family! Sad to lose her, but such a beautiful legacy. God bless Jimmy and the family as you grieve and celebrate your wonder woman. With love from the Allens. Stanley Allen, November 9, 2018 My thoughts & prayers go out to the family. May God grant you peace. Wanda Minchey, November 9, 2018 Jimmy -- I was so terribly sorry to hear of your wife's passing. I know she fought the good fight, and that she's no longer in pain. I am praying for God's comfort for you and all of your family. God Bless!
Rusty Harding, November 8, 2018 Ava was a sweet soul and she is perfect again in the presence of her heavenly father. I remember her from High School choir as a sweet voice and kind soul. I know all the family will miss her til we see her again. Thoughts and prayers...Jimmy Jimmy Job, November 8, 2018 My heart is broke for Joy at the news of Ava passing. My family loves you all and will keep you in our hearts and in our prayers. God bless you all. Tim McLemore, November 8, 2018 We will miss Ava. She was such a good person & friend. I know that her and Joyce Pevey are having a big time today, Bet Homer is with them. We love you Jimmy. May God give you comfort and peace. Gay Young---Joy Lawson, November 8, 2018 Sorry for your loss, Jimmy. Sincerely, Grady Grady Muldrow, November 8, 2018 So sorry to hear of Ava's passing. She was always such a joy to be around at our gospel singings. Her smile will greatly be missed. Praying for that "special" peace that comes at these times. May God be with you in this difficult time. Love, Genelle Genelle Clark, November 8, 2018 Our prayers are being lifted up for your comfort, peace and strength to go through such hard times. So many fond memories over so many years flood our thoughts bringing smiles and gratefulness for the the time we did have knowing Ava. We wish we could be there to join our voices with so many more to sing praises of honor and joy for Ava and the family. Sincere love and sympathy for the whole family, Harold and Linda Harold & Linda Lewis, November 8, 2018 My thoughts and prayers for Jimmy, his children and grandchildren on the loss of their wife, mother and servant of the Lord Almighty. Gary D Johnson, November 8, 2018 My thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time!!! Barbara Mitchell, November 8, 2018 My deepest condolences to the Barlow family. Rely on God's peace and comfort during this time. Love to all of you. Janice Gilley, November 8, 2018 I have some wonderful memories that involve Ava and will cherish them always. We are praying for all of you during this time and the days to come. Mahan and Stringer Families, November 8, 2018 Praying for all of you during this time. I thank God for the opportunity to have met Ava and Jimmy, and to have been in singings with them, even though Jimmy's songs were sometimes a challenge! Looking forward to that great choir with all our loved ones. Blessings, Sue Gray, Rising Fawn, GA Sue Gray, November 8, 2018 So sorry for your loss. Prayers for the family. We love ya'll!
Elijah Durham, November 8, 2018 You are in my prayers. Sharon Tanton, November 8, 2018 So very sorry for your loss Leasa, November 8, 2018 To every last beautiful face of the Barlow family, Your momma was one in a million. I slowly read through her obituary and found myself smiling ear to ear. Not only was Ava all of the wonderful things mentioned, but to me, she opitimized our hometown. The spirit of what it is to be a Leonard Tiger, to be a lover of God, and to hold the two in parallel to one another. Ava’s direct and no nonsense personality made her a wonderful person on the street to see...and worry if you had done anything worthy of a scolding in the weeks past! I cherish those moments and I thank each one of you for sharing her with us for so long. Our love, hugs, condolences, and prayers of comfort are extended to each one of you in your time of grief of loosing such a remarkable person. Donald and Nikia Fuller, November 7, 2018 So sorry for your loss, Sending prayers for peace and comfort! Josie Tijerina-Olivarez, November 7, 2018 Jimmy, you and the family are not friends, but family to me. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Ava was one I could always count on to make sure all was fed at my conventions, and to help me any way she could. I'm sorry to lose her, but a smile comes on my face when I think of her in Heaven. That old girl is running and shouting everywhere. She was ready to go, and now she is home. She I'll be watching over all of you, and you know you will fill her raft if you mess up. Just likecsge scolded you on her death bed ?? We all know we'll see her again, and that will be a grand reunion. May God hold all of you close with peace, comfort and direction. I love you all dearly. Susan Bollman, November 7, 2018 Prayers go out to all.
Deborah Henderson, November 7, 2018 So sorry to hear of Ava's going to be with the Lord. All of you are in our prayers. What a wonderful, sweet couple and a Blessing to have you as friends. We love all of you! Jimmy and Jessie Glass, November 7, 2018 Ava was a sweet and generous soul. I appreciated how she loved to help anyone who needed it. I will miss her. We will see her again in heaven. The whole family is in my prayers for comfort and peace. Donde Womack, November 7, 2018 Pouring all my love out to you all! So blest to know Jimmy and Ava. She will leave an empty hole in our Singing as so many others have but she will fill her place in that Heavenly Choir with all our loved ones there. Sweet Sweet Peace Joy Lawson, November 7, 2018 Ava was always a ray of sunshine wherever or whatever the circumstances were. She was positive and caring but most of all she loved The Lord with all of her heart, mind and soul. May her family have assurance of knowing that The Lord welcomed her and said “Well done my good and faithful servant.” She leaves a legacy of His love in how important to live your life for Him. May each of you feel His peace that passes all understanding . God Bless you,
Leeza Griffin Blanchette, November 7, 2018 So sorry about your loss. Ava gave me a picture that she took in 2006 in Wetumpka, Al. at the Alabama St Gospel Singing Convention. I think she won a prize at the Texas Fair. I will keep it always and remember her loving ways. Hope Jimmy and family a wonderful holiday and I know it will be hard. Just know God always give us what we need and never more than we can bare. Love always. Jo Jo Parker, November 7, 2018 I am sorry for your loss! You all will be in my thoughts and prayers! Kendra Bennett, November 7, 2018 Rest in peace and your family will continue to be in our prayers.
Jeremy McNear, November 7, 2018 To Liz and Michael. Michael I have loved you since your birth. You are like my own son. I am so excited that you found a soulmate in Liz and I have loved her since the day I met her. It breaks my heart to see thia struggle now. Stay strong together. I am here if you need a shoulder to cry on or anything. With lots of love and hugs to you both. Vicki Stewart, November 7, 2018 Ava was such a wonderful person. We just loved her so much. She came by the house late one evening after she got out of the hospital. I had sent word to her giving her a hug from Aunt Wanda. She said she thought she would just come get one in person. Even though we were not really kin, we loved her as our sister. She is now resting at peach in the arms of her Lord. Prayers for the continued comfort to your family. Jerry and Wanda Lester, November 7, 2018 Dear Barlow and Britnell Families, I knew Ava in Woodville at school and through the youth activities of FBC Woodville. She was so strong in her faith even back then. Although we rejoice in Ava's homegoing and the fact that she is now cancer free, I know that you all will miss her terribly. For that I am so so sorry. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Here is a photo of Ava from the FBC Youth Choir of the 70's Reunion in February 2001.
Denise Johnson Craigen, November 7, 2018
So very sorry for your loss , she was a sweet lady. Prayers to your family.
Tammy littrell, November 7, 2018 I am so sorry to hear of Ava’s passing. She will be so missed among her “singing” family. Susan OMary, November 7, 2018 So very sorry to hear of this. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Charlene Neal, November 7, 2018 Precious, wonderful memories of growing up with Ava and her siblings in Woodville and growing in our love of our Savior at FBC Woodville. Ava was always exuberant and truly had a servant's heart. I can only imagine how beautiful the music in heaven will be when she joins the chorus! Love and prayers for those who love her.
Robbie Crawford Evans, November 7, 2018