Barbara was born in Longview, Texas, the only daughter of Lawrence and Lillian Burke. She received her BA in Education at Southern Methodist University and her MA in Education at Michigan State University. She taught elementary education for 8 years in Texas before joining DoDDS in 1962 at Chateauroux elementary school in France, teaching grades 1 and 2. After 3 years she transferred to Lindsey ES in Germany and a year later returned to Texas. Within a few months Barbara realized how much she missed the overseas life and reapplied to DoDDS. She went to Okinawa where she spent 7 years at M & K ES. She transferred to the Philippines for a year and then back to Okinawa for the next 20 years. It was there that she met and married her husband Lt. Col Donald Wyrick (Dumpy). In 1995 they retired to Florida and enjoyed an active retirement until her death in 2011.
Barbara was a dedicated teacher who taught and instilled values and skills to hundreds of students who have subsequently gone on to serve humanity and their country.