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Romola ”Rommie” Barrus passed away peacefully in her sleep, at her home in Celo, March 8, 2019, at the age of 71. Rommie was born in Rome, Italy, October 20, 1947, to Bob and Dot Barrus. Her parents were working for the American Friends Service Committee, doing reconstruction following WWII.
As Rommie grew, and her developmental differences became apparent, Bob and Dot sought a rural community where they would have support of friends and neighbors to raise Rommie in a loving environment. This led them to spend the rest of their lives in Celo. Rommie maintained a childlike innocence her whole life, and even though she never learned to read or write, or do simple arithmetic, she became an integral part of her community.
Rommie’s smile would light up whatever place she was in. Her favorite words were “I love you” and she said them often. She considered the whole world her family and decided that if we couldn’t all be brothers and sisters, at least we could all be cousins. Rommie loved participating in Special Olympics, Camp Funshine, and other programs and activities for adults with developmental disabilities. Her cheerful, outgoing nature brought joy to whatever group she was a part of.
Rommie especially loved small children and she is fondly remembered by nieces, nephews, and neighbors who she helped babysit when they were young.
Rommie is survived by two brothers: Gib Barrus (wife, Annie) of Celo and Greg Barrus of Weaverville; one sister, Barb Perrin (husband, Tom) of Celo; four nieces: Gracie Barrus of Celo, Lucia Parker (husband, Clay) of Celo, Sadie Perrin of Cambridge, MA, and Kayla Barrus of Greeneville, TN; nephews: Kyle Barrus (partner, Sarah Carroll) of Burnsville, Drew Perrin (wife, Carly Todd) of Celo, and Kristian Barrus of Greeneville, TN; and five great-nieces and great-nephews: Hayden Parker, Grayson Parker, Lauren Barrus, Niko Perrin, and Arlo Fields.
There will be a memorial service Thursday March 21, at Celo Friends Meeting. Visitation at 6:00pm and worship at 7:00pm.
There's still time to send flowers to the Visitation at the Celo Friends Meeting from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM on March 21, 2019.
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