Barbara Swallow-Hruza

Obituary of Barbara Ann Swallow-Hruza

Barbara Ann Swallow Hruza, a beloved child of God, daughter, wife, mother and friend peacefully passed away on 8.30.2023, just shy of her 91st1st birthday.


The only child of Gladys and Park Shepp, Barb was born in Garden City, MO on November 18, 1932. She grew up in an idyllic life in Burlington/Coffee County, enjoying the family farm, horses, hunting dogs and a Welsh heritage that liked to have fun. Her lifelong love of horses began here, riding the countryside with her uncles the Withers brothers, who were expert horsemen, among horse-drawn carriages and no cars.


After a successful stint at Burlington High School and a graduating class of 30, she went on to study business at the University of Kansas excelling in predominantly male classes and enjoying the 1952 national basketball championship and her Alpha Chi Omega sorority.


Seeking adventure and an Executive Assistant job, she moved to Denver in 1953 which began her love of the mountains and skiing. She joined the Schussbaumer Ski Club based at the foot of Breckinridge Mountain. There she met Charles Mueller Swallow and they were married on August 29, 1959. A home in Arvada and members of Arvada Presbyterian Church, they had John Park “Jack” born in 1960, followed by Mark Raymond born in 1961, and finally twins Ann and Colin Charles born in 1966, giving them a family and the precious daughter Chuck always wanted.


Losing her beloved Chuck in 1972 set her on a path of raising four kids on her own with the much-needed help of dear friends and family. After successful stints in sales including Mary Kay Cosmetics, she attained her certification as an ordained minister and entered a 30+ year Christian counseling calling, Spirit Word Ministries, that helped countless people overcome debilitating setbacks. She never wavered in her trust of providence in only charging what people could afford and trusting that the Lord would provide, and He did. Through it all, she always made time for her kids, attending their sporting events and taking them skiing, including pulling each of them out of class for one one-on-one time.


After retiring from the ministry, she was blessed to meet and marry Gene Hruza, a man who dedicated his life to service, including caring for Barb over the last 10 years of her life. After almost 20 years of marriage, he preceded her to glory on 8.16.2023. Also preceding her are her parents, Gladys and Park Shepp, husband Chuck, in-laws Raymond “Bud” and Elsa “Nana” Swallow, and son Jack.


Her loves beyond Christ: Dancing, skiing, riding horses, dogs (especially her Blue Heeler, Buddy), laughing, hiking, cooking, baking, sports…Jayhawks, Broncos, Rockies, golf, music, arts, current events, and of course her kids and grandkids.


Barbara is survived by her son Mark Swallow and wife Romie; daughter Ann Schumaker and husband Robert; and son Colin “Chuck” Swallow and wife Elizabeth. Grandchildren Jordan Swallow, Josh Swallow, Kaley Schumaker and husband Madison Lynn, Hunter Schumaker and husband Julien Amelineau, Katherine Swallow, Collin Swallow, Audrey Swallow, Zachary Swallow, and Sarah Leib and husband Aaron and great-granddaughter Remi. Other family includes Gene’s kids Todd, Theresa and Traci, and their families; sister-in-law Fran Corsello and sons Jack and Andy and their families; brother-in-law John Swallow, wife Michelle and sons Ben and Chris and their families.


Glory to God that she is home. She will be remembered as a warrior for Christ who helped countless, a loving daughter to many who had none, a partner in life who brought peace and joy, a friend who could be counted on in the most difficult circumstances, and a mother who taught her children that, “Today is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”


In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations be made to Barbara Swallow Hruza Tribute through the Alzheimer’s Association, at


Barbara Swallow Hruza Tribute

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