2017 Mary Baker Rumsey Award Recipient

Barbara Eskridge
Barbara Lynn Eskridge

 Barbara Lynn Eskridge was raised in Medford, Oklahoma, where her great-grandfather was one of the first settlers following the 1893 Land Run. After graduating from Medford High School, she attended the University of Oklahoma where she was initiated into the Alpha Chi Omega sorority and received her Bachelor of Music Education

During her active membership with the Junior League of Oklahoma City, Barbara attended a national puppet workshop and was able to bring the puppet show to elementary schools.  She assisted doctors at Planned Parenthood at the Baptist Mission in the Stock Yards.  Additionally, Barbara assisted in research for the Children’s Museum at the Western Heritage and National Cowboy Hall of Fame and mentored juveniles in schools during her time with Junior League.

Barbara has served in leadership positions with the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library, American Red Cross, YWCA, her church and many other nonprofit organizations.  She feels her most meaningful work was helping adults learn to read through the Oklahoma City Literacy Council and working with school children in OKC public schools and volunteering at her church, Church of the Servant, with the Whiz  Kids program. Barbara combines her care for others with strong organizational skills and makes an impact on the lives of the people with which she works.

In addition to teaching adults to read, Barbara volunteered for 20 years with the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library and served on the Commission for 10 years. .During her time on the Commission, 3 new libraries were opened and a 3.4 million library tax was passed.  She  served as Chair of the Commission three times, helped form the statewide Friends of the Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO) and was founding member of the Library Endowment Trust.

Her work with the YWCA began when she volunteered at the former women’s shelter. She served on the board and served as President of the YWCA while the concept for the new women’s shelter and headquarters was developed.  In this capacity she recruited the campaign chairs for the capital campaign that built the new women’s shelter.

Barbara was the chairman of volunteers with the American Red Cross just after the Murrah Building Bombing.  She has also had leadership roles with P.E.O., where she served as President of her P.E.O Chapter five times and remained active in the alumni group of Alpha Chi Omega.

Over the years, Barbara has been recognized by the organizations she has generously dedicated her time.  She received the Oklahoma City Community Council Volunteer in Action Committee Award, Junior Hospitality Women in the News, American Red Cross Board Member of the Year, Oklahoma City Metropolitan Library, Lee Brawner Lifetime Achievement Award, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer and the Alpha Chi Omega Woman of the Year.  Volunteering has always been a family tradition for the Eskridges. Barbara’s late husband, Ed Eskridge, founder of the Eskridge Auto Group, fully supported all her volunteer activities and frequently pitched in as well. He was once heard complaining that while he helped set it up, he could not participate in a women’s only croquet tournament.

Barbara enjoys volunteering at Church of the Servant where she served on the Building Committee, as a member of the Foundation and as Chairman of the Administrative Council.  She currently serves on the United Methodist Circle of Care Board and has been a member of the choir for 20 years.

Barbara has two grown children, Lynn Fielding and Frank Eskridge,  5 grandchildren and

3 great-grandchildren.