Barbara Mathis Cavender

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, May 2, 2024

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Barbara Mathis Cavender, born in LaGrange on March 11, 1946, passed away on April 29 at the age of 78. 

Barbara was remarkable individual whose life was filled with adventure, travel, love, passion and kindness. While her life took her away from her native LaGrange, the community and her LaGrange family and friends played an important and enduring part of her life. 

Barbara spent her early childhood in LaGrange attending Hartwell Avenue Elementary School before her family moved to Atlanta in 1957. Throughout her life, she loved to return to LaGrange to visit her late grandparents George and Rose Daniel; her Uncle and Aunt, James and Olga Daniel; her cousins, Jim and George Daniel; and her life-long best friend, Susan Hammett Poole. 

As a young girl, Barbara showed her passion for animals and the outdoors learning to ride horses and fish in the pond on her grandfather’s farm on the Old West Point Road. Barbara graduated from North Fulton High School and attended Wesleyan College in Macon. After college, Barbara worked in management positions in the airline industry including Eastern Airlines before finding the joy and serenity of the North Georgia Mountains where she spent the last half of her life. 

Barbara enjoined many wonderful years with the love of her life, John, and spending time with friends and family in the beautiful home with a panoramic view they built in the mountains just outside of Dahlonega. 

Nothing gave her greater pleasure than the love and devotion of her husband and her family and friends who cared for her so deeply. Barbara was a devoted wife who also was John’s loving caretaker in the last years of his life. 

Barbara was an entrepreneur, hard worker and fiercely independent. She founded and operated a successful fabric and design business in Dawsonville for a number of years. Barbara also was a talented artist and had a particular love for pottery. She often made beautiful ceramic pieces and enjoyed working in her home studio even after retirement. Barbara’s adventuresome spirit was reflected in her many world travels visiting numerous countries and continents. 

She enjoyed the language, culture, food and history of different peoples reflecting her curiosity and keen mind. Of course, as all who knew her were well aware, Barbara’s capacity for caring was not just for her husband, family and friends. 

She was a lifelong animal lover and her dogs, and also the deer, birds and even occasional bears she fed daily, gave her great happiness especially in her last years after John’s passing. 

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband John Hugh Cavender, her parents Benton J. Mathis, Sr., and Vivian Daniel Mathis and sister Elizabeth Teresa Mathis. Barbara is survived by her son Michael Andrews and daughter-in-law Danielle Andrews of New York City; daughter Lara Eddleman and son-in-law Jon Eddleman of Dahlonega, Georgia; her brother Benton J. Mathis, Jr. and sister-in-law Mary Anne Mathis of Marietta; three grandchildren, Madison Eddleman Meese of Woodstock, Georgia, Davis Eddleman of Knoxville Tennessee, Dylan Andrews of New York City; and four nieces and nephews, United States Marine Corps. Capt Benton J. Mathis, III of Swansboro, NC, Joseph Madison Mathis of Buford, Georgia, Annabelle Faith Mathis of Golden, Colorado, and Patricia Rose Mathis of Marietta, Georgia. 

Her family would like to express their appreciation to the doctors and staff of the critical care unit of Northeast Georgia Hospital who provided her excellent care as she valiantly fought to overcome her sudden illness. 

Her family also is thankful for the staff of the Kennesaw Mountain Hospice where she spent her final days in the shadow of the historic mountain before peacefully leaving this earth. 

Barbara was a special and kind spirit and will be greatly missed by her family and friends. As was typical of her selfless attitude, she was adamant that there be no funeral or fuss over her passing. 

Barbara shared a love and appreciation of our great nation with John, a decorated 101st Airborne Ranger and Vietnam combat veteran. 

She will be interred next to him at the Georgia National Cemetary in Canton. For those wishing to make a memorial in Barbara’s honor, please do so to a charity of your choice. 

Mayes Ward Dobbins Historic Marietta Chapel will be in charge of arrangements.