July 23, 1935 ~ March 19, 2017
Family and friends of Barbara Gerber, “the ambassador of The-Record Courier,” are invited to a celebration of life May 10 for the former newspaper office receptionist who died March 19, 2017, at her daughter’s home in Minden. She was 81.
Before joining The Record-Courier in 1998, Barbara and her late husband, Dave Gerber, operated the Pipeline Inn in Minden for 10 years.
Former R-C publisher Janet Geary, now publisher of Nevada Magazine, said Barbara was the newspaper’s first line of defense.
“Barbara was the R-C’s ambassador in the community,” Geary said. “Everyone who came through the front door not only knew her, but loved her.”
“She always had a smile on her face whether dealing with the public or the staff,” Geary said. “When we would have a difficult situation at the front desk, I could always count on Barb to calm everyone down. It was only after she left that I realized how rare and important that was.”
She took as much care of the RC employees as she did visitors to the office, leaving her snack drawer unlocked to sustain staffers working late on production days, or offering a hug or a kind word. She never failed to ask about employees’ children no matter how old they were, and was so proud of her own grandchildren who often visited the office.
“You could tell she loved her job, and was such an empathetic person, that when someone came in to bring a graduation photo or an obituary, they always left feeling better,” Geary said.
Barbara was the first person Geary confided in when her father died. “Working at a newspaper, especially in a small town, you sometimes deal with personal tragedy that is hard to understand. I remember when my father passed away while I was working at the RC, the first person I told was Barbara because I knew she would make me feel better and I could count on her to help me get through the next couple of days,” she said.
Despite her declining health, Barbara’s daughter, Kathy Swain — with whom she lived — said her mother loved to get out, attending summer concerts in Minden Park where she visited with her legions of friends.
“I will miss Barbara’s beautiful and kind heart,” Geary said. “I know she is giving those necessary hugs to the other angels up there who love her as much as we did.”
Barbara was born July 23, 1935, in Solano County, Calif., the daughter of Lacey and Edna Martin. She graduated from Dinuba Union High School in Dinuba, Calif., in 1953. Barbara loved to garden, play cards and attend concerts in the Minden Park. She will be remembered for her vivacious personality and friendly smile.
She is survived by her children, Jeff (Sharon) Riggs, Kathleen (Brandon) Swain, and Diane Riggs; grandchildren Samantha Jabbour, Shannon Brown, Daniel Swain, Jennifer Pickering, Kandis Miranda, Jillian Harris and Alana Jenkins; and 14 great-grandchildren.
A reception in Barbara’s memory was held May 10th at The Record-Courier, 1503 Highway 395, Suite G, Gardnerville.