Barbara was married in 1958, had three children and moved to Canoga Park in 1961. She moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1968. She has always been self-employed; she ran a secretarial service out of her home until she retired in 1998. Divorced in 1975, she lost a son in 1985, and married Russ Cochran in 1996.
Barbara became active in volunteer work in the mid-1970s. She was a founding member of the SCV Community Health Council, serving as president and other officer positions. She reorganized the Community Hot Line, serving as a listener, trainer and president. She assisted in development of drug abuse research and she and her current husband, Russ Cochran, wrote grants for the Health Council from which the Community Care Center was established.
Starting in 1974, she worked as a volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club Auction committee and has done so every year to date. In 1979, she helped develop the Santa Clarita Valley Health Directory, published by the Signal. She also assisted Russ Cochran in grant writing to fund the building of Committee on Aging Senior Center. During the 1980’s, she served as a member of North County Mental Health Advisory Committee, a member of board of Committee on Aging, and was a founding member of the SCV Domestic Violence Center.
In 1983, she was honored as the SCV Woman of the Year.
Receiving this honor did not slow her down. In 1984-87, she served on Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors, and in 1985 she started the Boys & Girls Club Building Fund with money donated in memory of son, Chuck Stearns. She joined the Policy Board of the SCV Child & Family Center in 1986, and started another building fund in memory of her son. In 1987, she became a KARES Auxiliary member and became an officer in Safe Rides. In 1986, she joined the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, and has served as President and many officer and committee chair positions over the past 23 years. She co-chaired Zonta’s Celebrity Tribute for three years, and was Zonta Area 3 Director for two years, 2003-2005.
In 1989, she received the Women Helping Women award from the Soroptimist Club of SCV. She has also worked with March of Dimes, the Boy Scout/Sheriff’s Dept. Golf Tournaments, the COC Women’s Conference, was founding member of COC Symphony of the Canyons, a member of the Arts Council, a founding member of the Family and Community Coalition through City of Santa Clarita, and she co-chaired the Senior Center Wine Auction during five different years. She was a member of the Zonta Foundation Board of Trustees for four years, serving as its president in 2003-2004. She has served on the board of the SCV Child & Family Center Foundation since its inception. In 2003 she received the “Volunteer of the Year” Award from the Child & Family Center.
Barbara has been an active community volunteer for over 35 years, and since 2005, she has co-hosted the KHTS AM-1220 radio show, “The Senior Hour.”
About her honor as 1983 SCV Woman of the Year, Barbara said: “Receiving this honor was one of the most exciting events in my life, especially because my three children were present to see me receive the honor. I love my community and I love volunteering to help make it a better place in which to live. The people I volunteer with in this community are my friends. They have always been there for me in my time of need, and I want to be there for them.”