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Publix heiress dies at 65 from Alzheimer’s disease

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 11:56 AM EST
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Carol Jenkins Barnett, a philanthropist and daughter of the founder of Publix Super Markets, has died after a battle with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She was 65.

The Florida-based grocery store chain said in a written statement that Barnett died Tuesday in her home surrounded by family members.

Barnett was the former chair and president of the company's charity operations.

"The Publix family is deeply saddened by the loss of a great humanitarian and community advocate," Publix CEO Todd Jones said. "In addition to her service at Publix, Carol Jenkins Barnett made significant contributions to many nonprofit organizations and for the betterment of all children with investments in early childhood education programs. She will be sorely missed by her family, our associates and the community. Carol had a generous heart and compassionate soul. Her efforts will continue to improve the lives of others for generations."

The daughter of Publix founder George W. Jenkins, Barnett was born and raised in Lakeland. She began working with Publix in 1972 as a cashier in her hometown and later worked in the company's corporate marketing research and development department.

Barnett earned a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Florida Southern College in 1979.

She was elected to the Publix board of directors in 1983 where she served for 33 years.

Barnett and her husband were known for their donations to community projects and nonprofit organizations including United Way, Florida Partnership for School Readiness and Family Fundamentals.

Barnett is survived by her husband, Barney, and her two sons, Nicholas and Wesley Barnett.

A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland on Dec. 11 at 11 a.m.

Scripps Only Content 2021