Obituaries: Mr. Barry F. Ayers, Joel Franklin Fletcher Sr.

Obituaries: Mr. Barry F. Ayers, Joel Franklin Fletcher Sr.

Myrtle Hill in Rome.

A native Atlantan, Joel Franklin Fletcher Sr. was born December 26, 1936 at Georgia Baptist Hospital to his parents Frank Amos Fletcher and Catherine Causey Fletcher. Joel passed away peacefully October 11, 2020 at Redmond Hospital in Rome, GA.

His mother died in childbirth and when Joel was seven his father re-married and Annette Marie Fletcher become a wonderful life-long step-mother. Joel grew up in the North Decatur area and graduated from Druid Hills High School. He was an athlete in high school in football, track and cross-country. He attended North Georgia College for two years and graduated from Georgia State University in 1961 with a double major in history and English. He graduated from Atlanta Law School in 1966 earning an LLB degree.

Joel worked in the insurance industry for forty-two years, the last twenty of which he founded and operated Fletcher Insurance Agency in Gwinnett County. Upon retiring from insurance, Joel turned his photography hobby into a second career as a portrait and wedding photographer, which he enjoyed for eleven years. During retirement Joel tried writing and published two books which were well received. Joel had several other books that were not yet completed. He was a lifelong student of literature, history, theology, and music.

Along with his beloved wife of 60 years, Joel and Mary Jean lived in Rome, GA for 16 years where they enjoyed its many cultural and educational opportunities. He was a member of Rome First Baptist Church serving on several committees and especially loved being a part of the O.M. Cates Sunday School Class known as the “Scrap Iron Class.” Joel played violin with Rome’s Capitoline Ensemble and saxophone with Seven Hills New Horizon Band for four years. Joel developed his musical abilities after retirement.

Over the years Joel served in the Georgia State Defense Force, a branch of the Army National Guard, several civic organizations, historical societies, and the Northeast Georgia Civil War Roundtable. He was also a past board member of the DeKalb Association of Life Underwriters.

Joel’s happiest times were with his beloved family and he enjoyed golf, boating, fishing, and dear friends. He was an avid reader of literature, history, and theology. He took his Christian faith seriously, completing a 4 year study of theology offered through the University of the South, Suwanee, entitled Education for Ministry. Joel was a true “Southern Gentlemen.” To know him was to love him.

Joel is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Mary Jean Callaway Fletcher; Son, Joel Franklin Fletcher Jr. (Heather); Daughter, Joellen Fletcher O’Neill (Peter); Grandchildren, Evan and Olivia Fletcher, Claire and John O’Neill; Brother-in-law, Spencer Callaway (Gisela); Niece, Christina Noulis (David); Nephew, Daniel Callaway (Lea); Great-niece, Abigail Noulis; and many beloved cousins.

A private family inurnment and grave-side service will be conducted Saturday, October 17, 2020 at Westview Cemetery in Atlanta Georgia. In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to First Baptist Church, Rome, P.O. Box 1189, Rome, GA 30162; Samaritans Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607; or Salvation Army P.O. Box 5188, Rome, GA 30162.

The family would like to express special gratitude to the Rome Cancer Center, especially Dr. Dilawar Kahn, Harbin Clinic; Dr. Barrett Gilbert, Dr. Shalini Reddy; Redmond Hospital’s Cardiac Care Unit, second and third floor staff; and Chattanooga Hospice.

Daniel’s Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.


Mr. Barry F. Ayers, 33, of Cave Spring, died Monday, October 12, 2020, in a Rome hospital following an illness of two months. Mr. Ayers was born in Rome, January 9, 1987, the son of the late Chris Ayers and the late Mary Jane Scott Ayers.  Memorial services for Mr. Ayers are being planned for the first part of November and will be announced later. John House’s Cave Spring Chapel Funeral Home.


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