Joel Marion Barbee, Sr., lifelong resident of Port St. Joe, went home to be with the Lord on July 21, 2017, leaving a legacy of love and friendship.

Born to loving parents Bernice and Spot Ball Barbee, Joel was the baby of three boys. Raised with brothers Tony and Archie, Joel attended Port St. Joe Elementary School where in the sixth grade, he met fifth-grader and love of his life, Melba Watts.

After graduating from Port St. Joe High School in 1963, Melba made Joel the happiest man alive when she became his lovely bride, beginning a 44-year marriage, separated only by her passing in 2009. Joel and Melba were blessed with two children, Stacy and Joey.

Joel supported his family working for the A & N Railroad for 34 years. He was an avid coin collector for over 50 years, a fisherman all his life, and he loved cheering for the Florida Gators. He had lots of close friends and relatives, and always opened his door to anyone in need.

Joel was preceded in death by his parents, brother Archie, beloved wife Melba, and son Joey.

He is survived by his daughter Stacy and her husband of 25 years, John Stomp, as well as his brother Tony Barbee and other family and friends.

The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude for all of the many prayers and acts of love and kindness during this difficult time. A special thank-you goes to the staff of Sacred Heart Bay Medical and Covenant Hospice of Panama City for their superb care during his courageous battle.

Stacy and John would like to invite anyone wishing to pay their respects to a get-together this Friday, Aug. 4, 2017, at 3 p.m. ET at Joel’s house located at 1207 Monument Ave. (in the back). All are welcome to come and share a memory of Joel Barbee.

Arrangements are entrusted to Comforter Funeral Home of Port St. Joe.