Jean A. Barber


Whitehall, New York – Jean A. Barber, 85, of Whitehall, New York, passed away peacefully in her home on Friday, Nov 18, 2022, surrounded by her family.

Jean was the oldest daughter of the late Edward Austin and Adell (Sachs) Austin of Whitehall. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her loving husband of 67 years, Anthony Barber, her brother Wayne Austin; and her oldest daughter Janet Jillson.

Jean graduated from Whitehall High School in 1955 and was married to the love of her life just five months later, Oct. 30, 1955. Together they raised five children while spending time camping, vacationing with friends and taking part in most community and school sports-related events. She was a stay-at-home mom before going on to work for Jumbos Dairy Bar and her Aunt Peg’s jewelry store, Sachs Jewelry in Whitehall.

Alongside her husband, Jean spent many years involved with the youth of Whitehall. They ran the Athletic Association and helped coordinate many sports-related events and fundraisers. For many years, they ran “The Hot Dog Wagon” at the Whitehall varsity football games where Jean was well known for her famous hot dog sauce. They used this money to help fund uniforms, jackets and other athletic equipment.

Jean also was involved in the Columbiettes, part of the OLA church, and worked alongside the members of the Mount Carmel Society for the Italian festival and parade for many years.

Jean is survived by her sister Janie (Danny) Dougherty of Fair Haven, Vermont, and brother Howard Austin of New Jersey. She also is survived by her son-in-law Jay Jillson of Whitehall; her four children Anthony (Landy) Barber of Anaheim, California, Karen (Gary) Mylott of Catskill, New York, Susan (William) Frazier of Fair Haven, and Paula (Kevin) Steves of Whitehall; as well as 11 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Jean most of all was a woman of faith and family. She loved spending her free time in her beautiful garden, getting coffee with “the girls,” spending time at church adoration, making her Sunday sauce and meatballs and helping others as much as she could. She was a “Grandma” to many outside of her own family!

Calling hours for family and friends took place on Wednesday, Nov. 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. the Jillson Funeral Home, 46 Williams St. in Whitehall.

A Mass of Christian Burial was conducted at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 25, at the Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church in Whitehall with Jean’s nephew Michael Boulette, auxiliary bishop of Archdiocese of San Antonio, officiating. Burial followed in the Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Whitehall.

In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted in Jean’s name to Our Lady of Hope Church, 9 Wheeler Ave., Whitehall, NY 12887 or the Janet Jillson Memorial Golf Tournament, which may be sent to: “The Janet Jillson Memorial Fund,” c/o Berkshire Bank, 184 Broadway, Whitehall, NY 12887.

Online condolences may be made at jillsonfuneralhome.com.