Catherine Jackson Villegas

January 7, 1921 ~ October 11, 2009 (age 88)

Catherine Jackson Villegas, a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to all who knew her in Greene County, passed away Sunday morning at the Boswell Parker Nursing Center. She was 88.

Visitation with the family is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m. at McCommons Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, at the First Baptist Church in Greensboro with Rev. Michael Hardy, Rev. Ira McKeever and Tony Barnhart officiating. Graveside services will then be held at the Wesley Chapel Wesleyan Church. Catherine will be interned next to her husband, Jaime, who passed away on Feb. 2, 2000 and her son, David, who passed away on April 29, 2007. Serving as pallbearers are John "Butch" Jackson, Marc Villegas, Bruce Lovin, David Kopp, Jim Fletcher, Paul Channell Jr., Zandra Roper, Mickey Channell and Mel Channell.

Known to friends and family as "Kit," Mrs. Villegas was born on Jan. 7, 1921 to John and Laura Smith Jackson. She attended Union Point High School after which she attended business school in Atlanta. She later went to work for the Atlanta and West Point Railroad. It was on a business trip to New Orleans that she met Jaime Villegas, who was visiting the United States on vacation. Mr. Villegas was a professor at the Pan American Agricultural School in Honduras and the two began to correspond. They eventually fell in love and were married on May 1, 1948 at the home of Judge Townsend in Atlanta.

The couple moved to Honduras where Jaime continued his work as a professor at the Agricultural School. Their first child, Sam, was born in Honduras in 1949. Three years later the couple was back in Greene County when their second child, Maria, was born, in 1952. In 1955 their third child, David, was born. David was born with Down syndrome which motivated Catherine to help him and other children like him. She helped establish "The Little Red School House" in the cafeteria of the old Siloam elementary school in order to serve the special needs of children like David.

When Mrs. Villegas and her husband came back to the United States from Honduras, Jaime worked on a Master''s Degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Then the couple moved back to Greene County where they bought a farm. Jaime, a non-citizen at the time, made a living by farming while Kit embarked on several successful ventures.She was an outstanding salesperson for Stanley Home Products. She became one of the top agents for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. She was a leader in the Business and Professional Women''s Club and was recognized by Governor Carl Sanders, who appointed her to Georgia''s Commission on the Status of Women. She was active in local, state and national politics. She was invited to Washington, D.C., where she met with Democratic women from all over the United States. In 2004 she was invited to attend the opening of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark. She made the trip to Little Rock with Maria and Sam.

After Jaime completed a second Master''s degree at the University of Georgia, the couple moved their family to High Point, N.C., where Jaime was a Spanish professor at High Point College (now High Point University). When Jaime retired from High Point, they moved back to Greene County to enjoy their retirement. But Kit never really retired, staying involved in local businesses like the Country House and the Corner Pantry chain of stores. She and Jaime developed "Villegas Vineyards" which sold muscadines and produced a little homemade wine with their friends.

Mrs. Villegas is survived by her sister, Pauline Richardson of Greensboro, her children, Sam Villegas (wife Libby) of Winston-Salem, N.C. and Maria Barnhart (husband Tony) of Dunwoody, Ga., and three grandchildren: Marc Villegas (wife Jaime) of Cincinnati, Lisa Villegas of Winston-Salem, and Sara Barnhart Fletcher (husband Jim) of Dunwoody.In lieu of flowers the family has asked that contributions be made to the First Baptist Church, 203 S. Main Street, Greensboro, GA 30642 or to the charity of your choice. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us online at to sign the guest register.

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