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Barbara was born in Fort McClellan, Ala., the daughter of an Army Air Corps first sergeant. She grew up and attended school in Colorado, where her family moved after her father retired as a colonel. She has been a military wife all her adult life and a surviving spouse for 16 years, and is the proud mother of three beautiful daughters, eight grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

Barbara's last career position was as a financial analyst at General Dynamics, Electric Boat Division, in Arlington, Va. Her family then moved to Virginia Beach, where she cared for her mother for 17 years before her mother passed in 2007. She then went back to work part-time until December 2018.

For the past six years, Barbara has been the treasurer/membership chairman/venue and program scheduler for the Retired Officers Wives Club (ROWS). For the past four years, she has served as the surviving spouse liaison for her MOAA chapter.