Photo by Paul Neevel

Barbara Dellenback

“I was born in Medford,” says Barbara Dellenback, daughter of John Dellenback, who was an independent-minded Republican representative in the Oregon Legislature and the U.S. Congress who later served as director of the Peace Corps. “I spent many years, from age three until out of high school, in Salem, Oregon, and Bethesda, Maryland,” Barbara Dellenback says. After high school in Bethesda, she studied at Willamette University in Salem, at Indiana University and at the University of Oregon. She also waitressed and worked in yarn stores. Dellenback was living in Portland when she met Dave Ouelette, a childhood friend from Medford. “He was best friends with my brothers,” she recalls. “We got together at his sister’s wedding, and I moved to Eugene, where he was living.” They were married in 1987. Three years earlier, she was working at Soft Horizons yarn shop when she began volunteering at public radio station KLCC. “I got hired as Morning Edition host in ‘85,” she notes, and her career in broadcasting was launched. She held that job until the first of her two sons was born in 1988, and she subsequently worked at commercial radio stations and at fundraising for community benefit organizations. “In 1998, I was working for KPNW, across from the old library, when they asked me to be on the library foundation,” she says, “right when the board was given the task of raising $6 million for a new library.” The new library opened in 2002, and Dellenback continued as executive director of the foundation until she and her family moved back to Medford in 2007. There, she worked at fundraising, hosted Morning Edition for Jefferson Public Radio, and started a new business, Lives Recorded Live, making audio recordings of older folks telling stories for the future enjoyment of their families. She and Dave returned to Eugene in 2017, and she has returned to KLCC as substitute host for NPR news programs and continuing her Lives Recorded Live. She can be reached at