Meet the Master Gardener: Barbara France

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By Marci Moore, Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV)

During this pandemic, many of us have met challenges we never thought we would meet in our lifetimes.  We have also found blessings we forgot were actually there as we may have taken them for granted before.  We need to embrace those things that make us happy and put smiles on our faces.

One of our Coweta master gardeners, Barbara France, does just that. Barbara’s sweet nature and caring personality makes everyone happy to work with her. She is always right there when someone needs a little boost to help them over a rough patch.

Barbara joined the MGEV program after she retired in 2002 from Delta Airlines with 33 ½ years of service. Originally from Rockford, Illinois, Barbara moved to Georgia and graduated from high school in Athens.  She said it was only natural that she would attend the University of Georgia where she graduated with a degree in journalism.  Because journalism jobs were few and far between, she took a leap of faith and went to work for Delta as a flight attendant and never looked back.  She loved traveling and seeing many places that she would have otherwise never visited. She absolutely loved her job.

In fact, being a flight attendant worked well with her husband, Chuck’s career with the U.S. Army at Fort MacPherson and the Department of Defense in Washington D.C. He split his time between Washington and Fort MacPherson, and the two would reunite when they both got home from trips. When asked if that is the secret to a successful marriage, Barbara laughingly says, “It might be.” Barbara and Chuck moved to Newnan in 1992 and into a beautiful new development, Lake Redwine Plantation.  Barbara had always wanted to live near the water, and they have enjoyed living at the lake for almost thirty years now.

When Barbara retired and joined the MGEV program in 2002, she was finally able to enjoy the love of gardening that her mother and grandmother instilled in her. Barbara’s mother lived nearby in Wesley Woods,  and she was able to mentor Barbara along her gardening journey. Barbara feels truly blessed that she and her mother were able to spend many hours of cherished time with one another.

When the pandemic ends and everyone can get back to spending more face-to-face time with each other, we look forward to seeing you at a Backyard Association meeting where you will meet Barbara at the sign-in table. Barbara is a busy volunteer. She writes articles for the newsletter and helps on various committees like the plant sale, greenhouse and education committees. Maybe you will consider applying for the MGEV program’s next training session scheduled for 2022 after reading about great volunteers like Barbara France. Be safe until then.

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