With deep roots in eastern Wake, Theresa Barbour enjoys leading civic-minded teens.
Q: A long-time Zebulon resident, you have spent much time at town’s community center, volunteering your time with the Zebulon Youth Council. What has been your most fulfilling experience while doing this?
A: I have really enjoyed working with the young people in town. I feel like we have gotten a lot done. The focus of the youth council is to work hand-in-hand with other town organizations, like the Parks and Recreation Department or the Boys & Girls club, and assist them. The group – which consists of kids from eighth grade to seniors – would help at the Boys & Girls Club and assist with the younger kids. I suppose I am most proud of the effort we had to install “no texting while driving” signs around the town. The group worked with YES on the project. (Youth Empowered Solutions, a national organization that partners youth with leadership opportunities in their own community). The youth council had to go before the town board and speak to them on why this was important. We got together a PowerPoint presentation. I just got chills during that moment when they were addressing the commissioners. Tears came to my eyes. I was so proud of them. They did just a great job.
Q: You can truly be called a hometown girl when it comes to eastern Wake, correct?
A: I was born and raised in Wake County. I have never lived outside the county. The only time I really spent much time outside of the county when I was younger and I would stay with my grandparents on their Franklin County farm and I worked in tobacco. We lived in Raleigh up until I was about 10. I have lived in Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon. At the time I graduated high school, my parents lived outside Wendell on Rolesville Road near the high school. It was still Vaiden Whitley at the time. I was the next to the last class to graduate from Vaiden Whitley in 1976. In November, my husband (Stuart) and I will be celebrating 34 years of marriage. For 33 of those years, we have lived in the same house on East Horton Street.
Q: Is the home an older historical home?
A: It is not a registered historical home but it was built in 1925.
Q: The older homes have lots of character but you can also stay busy maintaining them.
A: It is not a very big home. We have worked to keep it up but it was a lot easier when we were both younger (laughing). It has the low ceilings and the double French doors, which you found in homes of that time. At one time, it had four fireplaces. Years ago, we used three of them but we use two now.
Q: A long successful marriage is such a rarity in this day and time. Is your relationship one of those with a cute beginning?
A: I think so. When I was a teen, my parents attended Union Chapel on (NC) 96 outside town. They still go there. I would go to the youth meetings. The minister at the time had three daughters and Stuart was dating the youngest one. We all went to North Myrtle Beach for a youth retreat and we got to know each other then. Years later, we ran into each other and began dating and we have been by each other’s side since then. We have a daughter, Carrie, who will turn 23 next month. She graduated from Meredith and while she was there, she got a chance to do a study abroad program in Ireland. While she was there, she met a young man and they have become close.
Q: What hobbies occupy your time?
A: Our hobbies have really changed over the years. We used to love to camping, boating and skiing but that was when we were bit younger. I stay busy working a couple of jobs.
Q: What makes Zebulon special to you?
A: It has held on to its small-town feel. Neighbors care about neighbors – and that is important.
Correspondent Dena Coward