Mehalia R. Barton was born on September 28, 1934, in the Colon, The Republic of Panama, to the late Rupert and Lucille Miller. Mehalia was later nicknamed “Jeannie” by her family members, who loved and admired her dearly. Mehalia credited her faith, positive attitude, willingness to see the good in others, and sense of humor as the attributes that helped her in the early years and throughout her life.
Mehalia graduated from Ebel Bravo and Costa de Oro schools in Panama. In 1959, she relocated to New York. Mehalia married the love of her life, the late Roberto Barton, in 1960. To this union, two children were born, Pamela Theresa Barton and Paula Marie Barton. Mehalia and Roberto moved from Harlem to Brooklyn, where they continued to live together while raising their two children.
Mehalia worked in the finance industry for many years; however, she soon realized her family's passion and helping others. She volunteered with the Girls Scouts of America organization for 10 years and later volunteered at the Ebenezer Elementary School, where she was hired. A dedicated grandmother, Mehalia retired early to help raise her grandchildren in New York and Atlanta. Over the years, Mehalia’ s desire to help others continued to grow. She volunteered at Safe Horizon Grandparents Program, a volunteer program coordinated by the New York City Department for the Aging, where grandparents dedicate their time mentoring at-risk children.
Mehalia traveled the world during her life with her sister Monica until her health began to decline. Mehalia was always active in the church. She attended the Tabernacle of Praise Cathedral, working in different ministries and faithfully participating in numerous activities.
Mehalia is survived by her daughters Pamela and Paula and her grandchildren, Zuri, Brandon, Lauren, and her sister Monica. She sought to instill in her family a zest for life, a strong relationship with God, a commitment to family and friends and the power of a smile.
Mehalia was a beautiful woman, always stylish and poised. She was a caring and attentive mother and the light of our lives. She shared her light with others without reservation. We will miss and love her forever.
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