Home Obituary Jetty Lea Edwards Barefield, 90, of Little Rock died March 8, 2016

Jetty Lea Edwards Barefield, 90, of Little Rock died March 8, 2016


Jetty Barefield obit picJetty Lea Edwards Barefield, 90, of Little Rock died March 8, 2016 at Mt. Carmel Community in Benton. She was born Nov. 8, 1925 on a farm near Nashville (Howard County) to Zine Narcissa Hickerson and Amos Andrew Edwards, the youngest of five children.
A 1943 graduate of Nashville High School, she joined the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps at age 19 and graduated from St. Vincent Infirmary School of Nursing at Little Rock in 1948, beginning a career as a registered nurse that would span nearly 40 years.
During a visit to Fayetteville for a college dance, she took a second look at a hometown boy she’d known for years who by then was a student at the University of Arkansas. Lewis Barefield said he knew she was the one when they took the dance floor, never minding that she couldn’t dance. They married in 1952 and shared 63 years together until his death on Nov. 19, 2015.
In her 30-plus years as an RN at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), she witnessed its expansion from a small medical school and charity hospital into an academic health center and research leader. She attended night school while working full time, receiving a bachelor’s degree in health arts through the College of St. Francis of Joliet, Ill. After retiring in the mid-1980s, she returned to UAMS as a weekly volunteer.
It was this vocation of caregiver that guided her entire life. Her greatest strengths and joys were seen through the loyal and loving care she gave to her family, unselfishly attending to their needs and encouraging their successes.
She is survived by daughters Rebecca Hill of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii and Cynthia Williams of Pine Bluff; four grandchildren, Whitney Williams Steele (Nicholas) of Benton, Jordan Williams of Little Rock, Joshua Masashi Hill (Caroline) of Lake Forest, Calif. and Jayme Kimiko Hill of Anchorage, Alaska; and great-grandsons, William Nicholas Steele and Greyson Emery Hill.
She was also preceded in death by sisters, Lena Reeves, Ruth Bell Gardner and Lorene Hicks; and brother, Cecil Edwards.
Jetty was a member of Lifeline Baptist Church and cherished her years as a Sunday School teacher in the four-year-old class.
Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. Sunday at Lifeline Baptist Church, 7601 Baseline Road, with services following at 3:00 p.m., the Rev. Jeff Dial officiating. Committal service will be 11:00 a.m., Monday at County Line Cemetery in Nashville.
Memorials may be made to Lifeline Baptist Church or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Online guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/drummond