June 28, 1935 - December 12, 2021
Dr. Barbra Mitchell Goodnite, age 86, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on December 12, 2021. Barbra is survived by her daughter Gay Gelson (Ed Gelson, Marietta, Georgia), her son Mitch Goodnite (Glenda Goodnite, Senatobia, Mississippi), her sister Lynda Trotter (Don Trotter, Starkville, Mississippi) and many cousins, nephews and nieces. She is preceded in death by her father Eugene F. Mitchell, her mother Evelyn Triplett Mitchell, her sister Evelyn Ann Schuck (Terry Schuck, Telephone, Texas) and special friend Robert Witt (Florence, Alabama). Barbra was born in Greenville, Mississippi and grew up in Starkville, Mississippi. At a young age, Barbra’s family found that she really enjoyed music and singing. Throughout her formative years, she loved singing in church and at functions and events. One of her biggest family cheerleaders was her beloved Aunt Minnie Jane Burns, a masterful piano player who loved to take Barbra to functions and play as her accompanist. Barbra graduated from Starkville High School and went on to earn a voice scholarship to Mississippi University for Women (then known as Mississippi State College for Women) in Columbus, Mississippi. After a couple of years, she changed her college major to Elementary Education and completed her undergraduate education at Mississippi State University (then Mississippi State College). While in college, she was chosen to appear in Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities and was a member of Cardinal Key National Honor Society and Chi Omega sorority. After graduating from college, Barbra began her lifelong journey of teaching. Second only to her love and dedication to her children was her great passion for teaching. She started her career teaching elementary children in local Starkville schools. A little later in life after her children were older, Barbra had a desire to teach at the college level so that she could share her teaching knowledge with college students who wanted to become educators. She then proceeded to earn both her Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees from MSU, where her professional memberships included Phi Delta Kappa, The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International and Pi Lambda Theta. After earning her doctorate, she enjoyed a 20-year career as a professor at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi and at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama. Throughout her life, whether in the church choir, at Junior Auxiliary events, at weddings, bar mitzvahs and funerals, or as a member of the Muscle Shoals, Alabama singing group The Shoals Chamber Singers, Barbra always found great joy in singing. She also enjoyed creative writing and wrote many wonderful poems. Two of her favorites were “A Teacher’s Prayer” and “The Gardener”. The latter was dedicated to her father whose favorite pastime was working in his garden. Visitation will take place Friday, December 17, 2021 from 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. at Welch Funeral Home in Starkville, Mississippi followed by a graveside service at 11:00 a.m. at Memorial Garden Park Cemetery. The family requests those attending to practice social distancing and wear a mask.
Dr. Barbra Mitchell Goodnite, age 86, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on December 12, 2021. Barbra is survived by her daughter Gay Gelson (Ed Gelson, Marietta, Georgia), her son Mitch Goodnite (Glenda Goodnite, Senatobia, Mississippi),... View Obituary & Service Information
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