Jennifer Renee Hodge Barber was called home Saturday, Oct. 16 surrounded by her loved ones at her childhood home in Mountain City, Tenn. Jennifer was born March 6, 1984 in West Chester, Penn. to Terry and Pam Hodge. Jennifer was a member of First Baptist Church of Mountain City.
She was preceded in death by her paternal and maternal grandfathers Carl Hodge and Harold Dowell.
She is survived by her husband Rex Barber Jr, father Terry Hodge, mother Pam Hodge, sister Jessica Hodge, niece Liyah Hillman, special aunt Sandy Hurley, and her maternal and paternal grandmothers Nell Dowell and Bessie Moody.
Jennifer’s family moved from Pennsylvania to Mountain City in 1993. A believer in hard work, Jennifer operated the airwaves at WMCT, stocked shelves at Food Country USA and served up customers at Lois’ Country Cafe while attending Johnson County High School. Upon graduation she began what would become a lifelong passion for helping others succeed, as she did, in their pursuits of higher education. Jennifer earned her bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from East Tennessee State University. She also held a master’s degree in theology from Liberty University.
Jennifer moved with her husband from Johnson City, Tenn. to Terre Haute, Ind. just after Christmas 2018. She remained a loved figure among her ETSU family, and worked in many roles at the university, before taking her most recent job as Executive Director for Online Marketing at Bay Path University in Massachusetts, a role in which she excelled.
Jennifer and Rex first met while they both worked at the East Tennessean student newspaper in 2002. They married in May 2008 on the beach in St. Augustine, Fla. and in their 13 years together traveled as much as possible, visiting Chicago, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Nashville, Philadelphia, The Bahamas and Jennifer’s personal favorite – New York City – many times, while family always took care of Kitty back home.
Watching plays on Broadway, wandering the crowded streets of New York and taking pictures, eating midnight slices at Ray’s, trying new restaurants and shopping all around the city of New York were some of Jennifer’s favorite things. But she really loved her niece Liyah and cooking her spaghetti dinners on Friday nights.
She also loved shopping with her mom, especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
She also adored going out to eat with her dad any chance she got.
Jennifer was a daughter, wife, sister, aunt, granddaughter, a friend, a mentor, an inspiration to everyone who knew her and a vivid witness for the Lord Jesus, with whom she is now at peace.
Visitation will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at First Baptist Church, 421 West Main St. A memorial service will follow at 2 p.m. with Pastors Ricky Campbell and Rick Thomason officiating. Jennifer will be interred at Sunset Memorial Park in Mountain City. Pallbearers are Rex Barber Sr., Tom Barber, Nick Barber, Scotty Campbell, Mike Hensley, and Tom Reece. Honorary pallbearers: Joel Wincowski, James Mayfield, Jayson Hall, Tanner Marshall, and members of the First Baptist Church CARE Teams.
Condolences may be sent to the family through our website at www.mountaincityfh.com.
The family of Jennifer Renee Hodge Barber has entrusted her services to Mountain City Funeral Home, 224 S. Church Street, Mountain City, TN 37683.