Barb was born on August 11, 1955, to Joseph Michael and Jean Kathryn Durbala Hollinrake of Weller. She was the eldest of eight kids who grew up in a full and noisy house on a sprawling farm. As unofficial family historian, Barb loved to share stories of family adventures and misadventures, always ending with a chuckle (often at herself). She might have you think it’s a wonder she survived those early years, but they helped make Barb a gentle, generous person.
Barb grew up among the pews of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Weller. Her faith and rural roots were priceless to her. She was a godmother, catechist, Confirmation sponsor and role-model to many young people.
She attended Lovilia Elementary School and graduated with the Albia High School Class of 1973. During her school days she enjoyed her academics, music and 4-H. She received a bachelor’s degree in business education from Northeast Missouri State University (Truman State University) in Kirksville, Missouri. She began teaching business courses in 1977 at St. Mary’s Catholic High School (Mater Dei) in Clinton, where a priest recognized her gift for counseling students. As a result, she left teaching to complete coursework at Loras College in Dubuque and the University of Iowa, where she received her master’s degree in counseling and human development.
In 1983, Barb began her longest and most-cherished career as a school guidance counselor at Maquoketa Valley Community School District in Delhi, where she mentored hundreds of students. During her tenure she enjoyed setting up career days, taking students on college visits (which often included minor maintenance on the district’s van), proctoring ACT exams, serving as the student council adviser and being timekeeper at track meets. She was instrumental in the development of the local Dollars for Scholars program, serving on its board for over two decades. She spent some of her final days corresponding with her students.
She is survived by her parents; her siblings Mary Kay Henderson (Rick) of Albia, Steve (Kim) of Knoxville, Robert of Waterloo, Marty (Kristy) of Falcon, Colorado, Laura (Pat Finan) and John (Cami) of Knoxville; sister-in-law, Suszanne of Albia; aunts Wilma Hollinrake of Norwalk, Suzanne Durbala of St. Augustine, Florida, Carol Durbala of Mankato, Minnesota, and Margaret Durbala of Newton; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends; and her beloved family of faculty, staff and students at Maquoketa Valley schools.
Barb was preceded in death by her brother, Ed, her niece and nephew, Gabrielle and Elijah, paternal grandparents, John F. and Mary E. McKillip Hollinrake, maternal grandparents Frank A. and Margaret C. Bins Durbala and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Services for Barb will be held on Monday, June 6, 2022, with visitation at Tharp Funeral Home in Albia from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and a funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Albia, with lunch to follow. Burial will take place at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Weller, after the lunch.
Memorials may be made to St. Mary’s Weller Cemetery.