Alma Barth was only one year old when her father died, leaving behind his widow and three children, Ann, Adolph and Alma. Her mother struggled to keep them on their farm in Milford, Neb., but eventually gave in to the Depression and hard times and moved to town in order to support the family. Alma graduated from high school as the salutatorian of her class and then went to work.
She married Earl after he returned from service as a Navy radio man in the Pacific. She became acquainted with Earl in high school and as their paper boy.
Earl began working as an apprentice plumber and soon received his journeyman license. He and Alma moved to Fairbury, Neb. and started their own plumbing business out of their home. Alma did the book keeping and scheduling and a successful business was established. (Alma and Earl were proud that they could start their own business and make a success of it.)
In the mid 1960's Alma became the first woman ever elected to the school board.
Alma was an active member of her community in many ways. She served as treasurer of the board of trustees at her church. She taught Sunday school and Bible school and was president of the woman's group for years. She was a Brownie leader and she and Earl raised German Shepherds for the "Leaders for the Blind" program. She and Earl were also sponsors for a Korean child, providing monthly support to her in her home country.
Earl had to slow his pace and took a job in sales for another plumbing company, so Alma began doing book keeping and payroll for the Jefferson County Hospital.
In 1975 Alma and Earl bought 50 acres and built a house. There was a spring on the property and a lake was built. They stocked and fed the channel catfish which made fishing one of their favorite pastimes. Earl raised cattle too.
By this time Alma was working as Clerk to the District Court. At age 61, Earl passed away from a brain tumor. Alma remained on the farm for another 20 years before moving into Cedarwood Assisted Living in Nebraska.
Alma loved to read, cook, and especially bake. About a week before Christmas, Alma and her friend Grace would start baking various holiday cookies for gifts. By evening, every flat surface in her home was covered with cookies to be given away.
Alma has three children, Tom in Manhattan, Judy in California, and Lori, who lives in Nebraska. She has 11 grandchildren and will soon add to the number of great-grandchildren with 13. She enjoyed traveling between her children's homes to visit.
Alma moved to Via Christi Village in Manhattan in March. She is very involved in the life of the community, attending all of the social activities, outings, happy hour, book club, bingo, and singing.