Barbara Lea Grundman Knipe Swarthout was born on January 9, 1951 at Auburn, Nebraska to Norbert F. and Edna M. (Bohlken) Grundman. Raised on a farm west of Brock, Nebraska in Nemaha County, she was baptized and later confirmed at Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church in nearby Talmage, NE. She graduated from Johnson-Brock High School in 1969. She married and divorced while attending college at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. While in college, she was reconfirmed into the American Lutheran faith. In 1972 she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics, renamed later to Family & Consumer Sciences. She taught at Pawnee City, Nebraska for the first three years of her teaching career, and then took a position at Tri County Public Schools west of Beatrice, NE. She taught there from the fall of 1975 to the Spring of 2002. She remarried in 1982, and had two daughters. Lea Jamison and Cheyanne Jae Swarthout. In the fall of 2004 she took a job at Elkhorn High School, where she continued teaching until her retirement in 2017. Throughout her 45 year teaching career, she continued to take graduate courses at UNL, UNK, and Peru State College, and added an additional teaching endorsement in Diversified Occupations. She taught many courses over those years, including various levels of foods, culinary arts, nutrition, housing & interior design, adult living, child development, human development, and health sciences. She held memberships in Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternity, the Nebraska State Education Association, the Family & Consumer Sciences Teachers of Nebraska, and American Career & Technical Education Teachers. Barbara is preceded in death by her parents Norbert and Edna Grundman and survived by sister Connie (Grundman) White & family, brother Robert Grundman & family, daughter Lea (Swarthout) Straw and grandson Brayden, daughter Cheyanne Swarthout, and step-daughter Christine (Swarthout) Huls and family.
A graveside memorial and committal service will be Wednesday, August 22, 11:30 a.m., at Grant Evergreen Cemetery near Talmage. A reception will follow in the Talmage Community Building.