Barney H. Rocker, 93, passed peacefully in the early morning hours on Friday, May 3, 2019, at Cedar Plantation Assisted Living in Metter after a battle with dementia.
A native of Metter, he was the eighth of 10 children born to the late Lavernia Fordham and Albert Herman Rocker Sr. Soon after graduating from Metter High School in 1942, he began his career with the Savannah Coca-Cola Bottling Company. The following year, he was called into the U. S. Navy during World War II, receiving an honorable discharge in 1946 and continuing his career with Coca-Cola. In November 1947 he married Bonelle Parham of Twin City. They were together in marriage for 64 years until her death in 2012.
In 1956 he was transferred to Hinesville as the manager of the Hinesville Coca-Cola Bottling Company, from which he retired in 1989 after a total of 47 years of service with Coca-Cola. Upon moving to Hinesville, he became active in the civic affairs of Hinesville and Liberty County. He was a member and past president of the Hinesville Lions Club and a past president and director of the Hinesville/Liberty County Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a member of the board of directors of the Housing Authority of Hinesville for a number of years and was a charter member and past director of the Cherokee Rose Country Club in Hinesville.
In 1965 he was elected to the board of directors of The Hinesville Bank, now known as The Heritage Bank, and was a longtime member of the board’s loan committee. He retired from the board of its parent company, Liberty Shares Inc., in 2002 after 37 years of service.
In 1972 he was appointed to the Liberty County Board of Education, elected by the voters as chairman of the board in 1986 and served three terms for a total of 27 years service to the Liberty County school system. In 1961, he and his wife joined First Baptist Church of Hinesville, where he has served in a number of leadership roles through the years, having served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher and chairman of various committees.
After his retirement from Coca-Cola, he enjoyed spending time at his farm near Metter, his family “homeplace” where he grew up.
Since 2013 he had been a resident of Cedar Plantation, where he lived his final years under the attentive care of their staff and was able to share his good humor and teasing manner with residents and visitors alike.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was predeceased by three sisters, Christine Lee, Evelyn Hardee and Ereline Hartley; and five brothers, Vernon, J.O., A.H. Jr., Watson and Hardwick Rocker.
He is survived by two sons and their wives, Lamar and Jenny Rocker of Harlem, Ga.; and Dwayne and Karla Rocker of Metter; three granddaughters, Melissa Jacobs of Hephzibah, Ga.; Karen Wall of Evans, Ga.; and Christina Mays of Appling, Ga.; and five great-grandchildren, Hailey and Blake Burden, Colton and Colby Lynn Mays, and Madison Wall; a brother, Robbie Rocker of Millen; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held from 4–6 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, at the Hooks Chapel of Kennedy Funeral Home in Metter. The funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 5, also at Kennedy Funeral Home. Burial will follow at the Lake Cemetery near Metter.
Pallbearers will be Chris Cliett, Rocker Hartley, Jimmy Rocker, King Rocker, Kirk Rocker and Brandon Wall.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Building Fund of Hinesville First Baptist Church, 220 East Memorial Drive, Hinesville, GA 31313.
Kennedy Funeral Homes, Hooks Chapel of Metter, is in charge of the arrangements.
Statesboro Herald, May 4, 2019
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