Barbara, a member of Gamma Phi Beta met and married Lt. Commander John N. Echternach at the University of Washington in 1947. They spent a few years in Beverly Hills, John's hometown, and Newport, R.I., before they settled in Newport Beach, California.
Combined, they dedicated more than 50 years of service to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. John taught at Newport Harbor High School and Barbara worked as an instructional aide at Mariners, Anderson and California elementary schools. She was a civic leader, involved in Friends of the Library, Children's Home Society, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Campfire Girls. She was an avid sports fan and never missed a Newport Harbor or Laker game. John introduced hundreds of students to the majesty of the Sierras by creating and leading the Summer Field Studies Program. He was one of the founding members and lifetime supporter of the Environmental Nature Center. Barbara and John retired to Dana Point where they could walk for miles on the beach with friends, family and their dog.