Born in Baltimore Maryland May 1,1953 to Harold and Dolores Schweitzer of the Hilltop Avenue area where several generations of Jacksons and Schweitzers called home, consumed steamed crabs by the bushel load and made a happy life. She attended catholic high school at John Carroll graduated and completed her Associates Degree in Business Management at Harford County Community College.
She worked for Monumental Life Insurance Company in Baltimore until 1988. Monumental sent her to insurance seminar in 1987, a coworker just moved from San Antonio who linked her with friends from another insurance company in San Antonio. She met her soon to be husband at Denim and Diamonds Dancehall who was also friends with the coworker and chaperones. So many pieces had to fall in place, this meeting and marriage were meant to be, it saved me from myself, she went through life rescuing people and pets.
While in Ohio we worked in the foster care program of Pickaway County helping 9 children over a period 3 years and adopted son Jackson in the process. The small farm served as sanctuary for rescued children, horses, chickens, at one time about 20 cats, bird dogs, and strays of all kinds. She’d come home driving in the driveway and eyes peeping out of the backseat never sure if 2 legs or more.
Barbara over the course of the next 35 years worked as a veterinary assistant, in San Antonio, St Louis, Mo. and ultimately completed her Associates Degree in American Sign Language with a specialty in tactile signing for the deaf/blind at Columbus State Community College where she made lifelong friends. At Columbus Colony, which is a home for the deaf she volunteered to assist the residents, she worked as a deaf blind specialist for Columbus Speech and Hearing where she participated in an outreach program to assist disabled people find jobs with on-the-job training and coaching in life skills.
She was active at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Grove City, Ohio near our home teaching sign language to children in the elementary school and helped interpret the church service for deaf members in need.
Barbara is survived by her husband of 34 years, Bernard Rathmell, sons John Jacob, Bernard Rene and wife Jennifer, Jackson Reed, daughter Sarah Elizabeth and Katie Jill and spouse Mindy, 9 grandchildren Austin and wife Cassy, Cameron, Chloe Jill, Emma Grace, Taylor Rene (with child) and Nick, Soleil Maya, Jacob, Jacob Benjamin, Arianna as well as great granddaughter Amelie Harlow as well as numerous nieces and nephews of the Rathmell Clan. On the Schweitzer side, Brother John and wife Bonnie, nephew Cameron and niece Savanah of Street, Md, brother Nick wife Mary of Punta Gorda, Fl., nephew Nicholas and niece April, grandnephew Luke and Dolores Schweitzer (Jackson) age 95 also of Baltimore Md, her loving mother.
Barbara possessed limitless energy she shared with all in need, a heart as big as Texas, her sense of humor never diminished by hardship, her courage never failed, her last words of love for family and friends….. also her constant companion, her cocker spaniel Baxter barking at mail men, delivery persons and sketchy looking bags blowing in the wind. She leaves behind a grieving extended family thankful she is at peace in God’s Grace.