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Moments in Time: Barb Moser
Barb Moser (Times photo: Marissa Weiher)

Moments in Time

Moments in Time is a weekly series featuring recollections of area residents. To suggest someone to feature in Moments in Time, please contact Mary Jane Grenzow, editor, at

MONROE - Barb Moser has spent her lifetime surrounded by children. She raised her five children and then swiftly moved into the lives of many other youngsters in Monroe through the pool and the after-school program that she has worked at and enjoyed for more than three decades.

Now at the brink of retirement, Moser looks back fondly on the time she spent invested in the lives of local youth.

Moser was born in Madison, but in sixth grade her family moved to Belleville where she attended school. Her father owned Belleville Bakery and as the oldest daughter of three, Moser was a big help to him. She didn't bake, but handled all of the wedding orders, dealing with people and managing the deliveries.

After graduating from Belleville High School in 1964, Moser attended beautician school for a year while living with her aunt in Madison. It was something she enjoyed, but never practiced after having her own children.

Moser married her husband, Paul, a cheesemaker from New Glarus, the following year, and this October the couple will celebrate 50 years together. The family lived in Clarno. Although Moser sold Avon for fun and was involved with the Clarno 4-H group, the children were always in the forefront of her life, and she was happy as a stay-at-home mom.

Once her youngest child started school in 1981, Moser saw an ad in the newspaper for Monroe Parks and Recreation Department's after-school program. She applied and has been at the job since.

"I thought "how perfect,'" she said, noting how happy she was that her interest in children for so many years could be put to use.

At that time, it was high-school youth who attended the program and Moser was in charge of organizing, starting and setting up things like foosball and pool. She even began a fifth- and sixth-grade dance, which was a popular event.

As time went on, more activities became available, and sports for females were coming into play. Traveling teams were being formed, and the YMCA had officially been named. The after-school program changed too, and became geared more toward younger children.

The program became kindergarten through fifth-graders, and Moser kept the program relatively structured with homework, projects and different activities geared toward their ages. Moser works with the parks and recreation supervisor to plan and go over new things to keep the program fresh and fun.

The children have adored Moser and often take time with other staff members to throw her a birthday party. For the past three years, those parties have had themes representing things she loves dearly: The color purple, Wisconsin Badgers and Chicago Bears.

The children she used to have in the after-school program are now the parents she sees at drop-off time.

Another huge part of Moser's life has been serving as the pool coordinator at the Monroe Pool for more than 30 years - in fact, she's better known as "The Pool Lady" around town.

"I can be at the grocery store - or anywhere, really - and I hear "there's the pool lady,'" she said with a smile. "Then they usually give me a hug. I love these children."

Moser takes the time to really communicate with the youth she encounters and feels it's so important to make them feel heard. She says she spends most of her time simply listening, hearing stories about their weekends, or work - whatever they might want to share.

"The kids come to me every day and say "Barb, do you want to hear about my day today?' and I say "You bet I do. I want to hear all about you,'" she said. "I really care about them."

Moser has also served on the park board for 31 years, saying she's been happy to be sure that rules have stayed in place over the years for the youth that she's so invested in.

"That's a great love of mine because children are my top priority," she said.

But it's not just children she's connected with. There are a group of adult lap swimmers that Moser has bonded with as well and many are great friends.

Although she's not a water person, she says that her job is perfect because she oversees things and makes sure they run smoothly.

Next year in December, Moser is planning to retire from the jobs she has loved for so long.

"It's a great place to work," she said. "I love it."

Moser stays busy in the wintertime as well, and although last winter was her last, she spent 20 years as an office clerk in the treasurer's department at City Hall. She says she enjoyed her work there because it was so different from her work in the summertime and it was the perfect change of pace.

For fun, Moser and her husband love everything Wisconsin Badgers. They are big fans and enjoy attending games and concerts together and watching them at home.

Moser served on the Monroe school board from 1983-1992, spending time as the vice president and also was part of the transportation committee. While her children were in school, she played a huge role in planning post prom as well.

Moser says she lives her life in a way that reflects her late mother, a woman who was forgiving of a rude or unfriendly person, wondering what might have happened to cause them to be that way.

"I'll give you a smile," Moser said. "I've always been like that. I got it from my mom."

Today, the couple loves to enjoy time with their children and 11 grandchildren. Once she retires, Moser hopes to volunteer and wants to always be in a position where she keeps making lives positive for those around her.

"I love children and I feel they are the future," she said. "I feel that education is something that can never be taken away from you."