Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Barbara Friel, Retired Georgia Bulletin Staffer, Dies

Published December 23, 2010

Barbara (Bobbie) McGee Friel, a longtime member of The Georgia Bulletin staff and also formerly on the staff of Christ the King School and Catholic Charities Atlanta, died Dec. 6 at her home in Dunwoody. She was 68.

Born on Jan. 23, 1942 in Macon, Mrs. Friel met her husband of 45 years, Robert, when she began to work for the Department of Family and Children Services in Atlanta as secretary to the director of the food stamps program. After they married, she stayed home and raised their two children, Angie and Brian. When her children were in grade school, she took a job as a teacher’s aide at Christ the King School, where she eventually became secretary to the school principal at the time, Sister Jean Liston, GNSH.

In the mid-1980s she came to The Georgia Bulletin as office manager, where she continued to work until the fall of 2004. She was dedicated to the behind-the-scenes tasks essential to the running of the office and was a faithful and critical reader of the newspaper as well. Staff members knew her as not only a colleague, but as a friend who cared about their lives and remained committed and loyal to them even into retirement.

The editors had just received a detailed e-mail from her Dec. 3, after she finished reading the Thanksgiving issue of the newspaper, which she particularly liked.

Prior to retirement, she spent several years working on the staff of Catholic Charities Atlanta. She retired in 2007.

She was also a devoted caregiver to the elderly, including her late mother and aunt, as well as others she met through her work and in daily life.

The funeral Mass for Mrs. Friel was celebrated at the Cathedral of Christ the King on Dec. 10 with Father Frank McNamee, pastor, as principal celebrant, and Msgr. Joseph Corbett, vicar general of the archdiocese, as concelebrant. Interment took place at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton following the Mass.

She is survived by her husband, Robert; her daughter and son-in-law, Angie and Shannon Mulvaney; her son, Brian; her sister, Gloria Capel of Griffin; and her brother, Kenneth Roberts of Washington, D.C.

The family has identified her favorite charities as Catholic Charities Atlanta and the Georgia Center for Positive Aging for those who might wish to make a contribution in her memory.