Jean Marie Roland Barwick of Franklin, TN, passed away May 17, 2022, surrounded by family and friends at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, TN. She was born May 5, 1949, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
Jean was preceded in death by her mother Billie Clark Roland, father Louis Hugh Cowan M.D., stepfather William Fred Roland, and loyal canine companion Sera.
Her survivors include her siblings—William F. Roland, Barbara E. Roland, Caroline E. Oakes, Peter B. Roland, and Alan C. Roland; her nephews and nieces—Fisher and Jackson Oakes; Landon and Mitchell Roland; Lizzie, Claire, Madison, and Ava Roland; and her great-nephews—Bowen Roland and Victor Oakes.
A nature lover, Jean was a University of Tennessee graduate with concentrations in botany and biology. Her career included working in U.T.’s Departments of Food Sciences and Biology and in U.T. Hospital’s Department of Oncology Research. While working in U.T.’s Botany Department, she was named Lady Botanist of the Year, a fitting moniker for one who pursued botany in various ways the rest of her life and who never lost her child-like wonderment with nature. She assisted Ralph Cabage, a longtime friend, in creating Tennessee Water Gardens, teaching classes at U.T. in water garden construction, and winning three consecutive Dogwood Arts’ water gardening shows. (Ralph commented that attempting to express all that Jean’s life encompassed is impossible.)
Jean was a gifted artist whose repertoire included pen and ink, water color, acrylic, and oil. Her work has hung in galleries and is a fixture in her family members’ homes. She created medical drawings for U.T.’s College of Medicine and became the illustrator and marketing specialist for Aquarium Life Support Systems. Through her company, Harlequin Design Group, Jean brought beautiful graphic concepts to her clients, setting herself apart with her attention to the smallest detail.
Jean was also an accomplished pianist. Her favorite composers were Mozart and Chopin. With her penchant for ragtime, she played Scott Joplin to her nieces’ and nephews’ delight. Her other talents included quilting, carving, and food art.
Always seeking to enhance her community, she co-founded the Arts Council of Williamson County. An unwavering patriot, Jean served as Executive Director of the Williamson County Republican Party and was a member of the Republican Women of Williamson County. Acknowledged for her tireless efforts, she was named Williamson County’s Republican of the Year in 2017.
A celebration of Jean’s life will be held June 4, 2022, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home in Franklin, TN.
In lieu of flowers, a donation in Jean’s memory can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or the Williamson County Republican Party.