The daughter of the late Mary Edith Achee and George Samuel Ham, Jr., Barbara was born on June 22, 1937 in Plaquemine, Louisiana. She lived in Winnfield, Louisiana, and in 1964 moved to Baton Rouge. She attended Dufrocq Elementary, and graduated from Baton Rouge High School Class of 1955. In January, 1959, she graduated from LSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce with a minor in Finance and Management. At LSU she was chosen by the Dean of Women to be a Freshman Advisor for the 1957-58 school year, and was a member of Delta Beta Sorority.
On December 27, 1958, Barbara married Gerald "Jerry" P. Schwalb, Sr. in Baton Rouge. During her husband's military career, she lived in Arkansas, Puerto Rico, Ohio, Florida, California, Montana, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana. She held many offices in OWC from secretary to president in Ohio, Texas and Puerto Rico. At Dyess AFB, she worked as a Testing Specialist/Assistant Education Advisor.
Barbara was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church in Abilene and very active in the activities of the church. She was a volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul Society, Noah Project and Hendrick Hospice Care. She was a member of the Abilene Woman's Club, Abilene Mother's Study Club, and Garden Gate Garden Club. In the rearing of her sons, Barbara's involvements included being active in the P.T.A., homeroom mother, and Booster Clubs at Jackson, Madison and Cooper as well as being a member of the Abilene Aggies Moms Club.
Barbara made her priorities well-known. "I loved my God, my family and my country. My family was my life."
Barbara is survived by her husband, Jerry Schwalb of Abilene, and four sons, Gerald "Jay" Schwalb, his wife, Robin, and sons, Jacob and Noah, of Houston, TX; Christopher "Chris" Paul Schwalb, his wife, Jerrilyn, and son, Tyler, of McKinney, TX; Kevin David Schwalb, his wife, Janet, and children, Nicholas, Catherine, Jack and Clare, of Alexandria, Virginia; and Steven George Schwalb, his wife, Kelsy, and sons, Graham and Carter, of Atlanta, Georgia. Survivors also include her sisters, Helen Margaret Ham White of Pineville, Louisiana and Mary Elizabeth Ham Snyder of Wellington, Alabama.
Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 7, followed by a prayer service at 7 p.m. at The Hamil Family Funeral Home Chapel, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene. Funeral mass will be held at 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 8, at Holy Family Catholic Church with Msgr. Fred Nawarskas officiating. Interment will follow at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway in Dallas, Texas 75211.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Noah Project, P O Box 875, Abilene, TX 79604; Hendrick Hospice Care, 1682 Hickory St., Abilene, TX 79601; or St. Vincent de Paul Society, 1241 Walnut St., Abilene, TX 79601.