Many Asbury residents have and continue to travel far and wide, but Barbara Harbison has a record that’s hard to match. She has lived or worked in all 50 states except two. Her first was North Carolina, where she was born in the small town of Morganton. At two, she moved to Philadelphia where she grew up. She graduated from a high school for gifted girls and then attended Morgan State College, where she studied mathematics.
After college, Barbara went to work in General Electric’s space program where she learned computers from the ground up. She rose in the company and eventually supervised project managers who were installing and implementing personnel systems in other Fortune 500 companies, school systems and government agencies.
After a final assignment for the State Department, Barbara retired to her house in Germantown, Md., just north of Gaithersburg. As someone who enjoys being busy and giving back, Barbara dove into volunteering. She has served on the advisory board of the Gaithersburg Senior Center and works on a Montgomery County transportation project for seniors and the disabled. In addition, she tutors second graders at local school and she is an active supporter of multiple sclerosis activities.
If that’s not enough, Barbara has also found time during her 'retirement' to earn a degree in Theological Education for Ministry from the University of the South. A great advocate of exercise, Barbara can often be seen at the Rosborough Wellness Center and at lots of other places and events around campus. And she will always greet you with a big smile and a warm “Hello!”
This article was edited from the original by resident Becky Ratfliff and appeared in the community newspaper, Village Life.