LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — The billionaire daughter of the Publix Super Markets founder has died after having early-onset Alzheimer's Disease, the company announced Wednesday. Carol Jenkins Barnett was 65.
Barnett died Tuesday night at her home in Lakeland, Florida, Publix said in a news release. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2016.
Barnett began working as a cashier at Publix in 1972, eventually serving on its board of directors for 33 years, the company said. She was known in Lakeland — where Publix is based — for her philanthropic work, including financial support for the United Way, the founding of Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland, a pavilion for women and children at Lakeland Regional Health and many other organizations.
“The Publix family is deeply saddened by the loss of a great humanitarian and community advocate,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones. “Carol had a generous heart and compassionate soul. Her efforts will continue to improve the lives of others for generations.”
Barnett is survived by her husband, two sons and three grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for Saturday in Lakeland.
Publix operates 1,294 stores in seven Southern states as well as nine distribution centers. The company employs about 225,000 people and had $44.9 billion in retail sales in 2020, according to the Publix website.