Mrs. Barbara Lee Cordle, 92, of Rome, Georgia, visited her Lord on Sunday June 4, 2023.
Barbara was born on October 30, 1930 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to the late Gustine Parker and Elizabeth Cloyd Parker. Before her died her husband of 37 years, LCDR “J” “T” Cordle, US Navy (retired) of Subligna, Georgia, and their infant daughter, Deborah Lee Cordle. Raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, she received her bachelor’s degree from Knox High School and then the University of Tennessee. She then attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX, where she earned her Masters in Education. She continued west to California, where she met her future husband, a Georgia Navy officer named JT, and over the years served as a schoolteacher in several states. She lived near naval bases, including Long Beach (California), Newport, Rhode Island, Hawthorne (Nevada). and many others. Wherever the Navy took her, Barbara found a place to teach at school and make a difference.
After completing a 30-year career in the Navy, the couple retired to Rome in 1977 where JT began a second career at the Berry Museum and Barbara was a permanent fixture at Darlington Lower School from 1974 to 2004 and by then was 3rd and 5th grade taught. She went into semi-retirement. Her ‘mini-society’ project, teaching basic business and entrepreneurship skills, earned her a spot in ‘Who’s Who’ for Georgia in 2004 and set many of her students on the path to self-employment. She taught several generations of Romans, who will all be fondly remembered for her storytelling, her “friend” Elmer the Flea, and her love of teaching. She belonged to the First Presbyterian Church of Rome, where she was passionately involved in many of its activities. After JT’s sudden death in 1995, Barbara remained active, teaching for several more years and spending her life telling stories and giving back to others. Over the years, she has been a staunch supporter of the Rebecca Blalock Child Development Center, raising funds to support the building’s complete renovation.
Survivors include son John Cordle and his wife Gudrun of Chesapeake, Virginia, daughter Marci Cordle Marrs and her husband Brian of Flower Mound, Texas, and grandchildren Benjamin Marrs and Lauren Marrs. She is also survived by her sister, Marilyn Dew, of Knoxville, Tennessee, and JT’s family, which includes brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and many nieces and nephews. She loved her family, her church, and she loved the Navy, but most of all she loved teaching. She had a long and fulfilling life and always said her talent was appreciating the talents of others. She will be missed.
The funeral service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at the First Presbyterian Church of Rome, conducted by Rev. Ken Chivers. The family will receive friends on Friday, June 9, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Henderson and Sons Funeral Home, North Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for memorial donations on Barbara’s behalf to the Rebecca Blalock Child Development Center, 608 Graham St NW Rome GA 30165.
The family would like to say a special thank you to all of the healthcare providers who cared for Barbara at Spiers of Berry College. They took care of her and loved her like family.
Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, North Chapel is responsible for the organization.