Union University news office
JACKSON — Former Union University First Lady, Joyce Lynn Barefoot, wife of Union’s 14th president Hyran Barefoot, died Jan. 23 at Maplewood Nursing Home in Jackson at age 93.
“Joyce Barefoot was a Union treasure,” Union President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver said. “Her graciousness and encouragement were hallmarks of her faithful life. Her service to Union University and, more specifically, the people of Union cannot truly be measured this side of heaven. Even still, we give thanks to God for all of the lives she impacted in Jackson, Tennessee and around the globe by her hospitality and friendship.”
Mrs. Barefoot graduated from Ouachita Parish High School in Monroe, Louisiana, and continued her education at Louisiana Tech University. She earned her degree in elementary education in 1948 and immediately began teaching in the Ouachita Parish Schools.
She met and married Hyran Barefoot, the pastor of her church, Liberty Baptist Church, in Calhoun, Louisiana, in 1949. She became Union’s First Lady in 1986 when her husband was chosen as Union’s 14th president.
“Her strongest role was as First Lady to Dr. Barefoot,” Oliver said. “Her steadfast love and support for him and her unique contributions allowed Union to thrive in every way. We are ever grateful to God for the good gift of her life even as we grieve her homegoing.”
Former Union President David S. Dockery said he and his wife Lanese remember Mrs. Barefoot as a “gracious and classy lady who had served Union with distinction prior to our arrival.”
“She welcomed us warmly and especially befriended Lanese,” Dockery said.
Joyce Barefoot Drive on the Union campus is named in her honor.
The Barefoots, longtime members of West Jackson Baptist Church, were married for 71 years. Mrs. Barefoot is survived by her husband, three daughters, six grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and one sister.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 30 at West Jackson Baptist Church in Jackson. During the hour prior to the service, Mrs. Barefoot will lie in state, and the guest book will be available for signing.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to the Hyran and Joyce Barefoot Scholarship Fund at Union University, 1050 Union University Drive, Jackson, Tennessee 38305 or to West Jackson Baptist Church, 580 Oil Well Road, Jackson, TN 38305.