Donna Marie Barr’s memoir, My View from the House by the Sea: A Life Transformed by Samoa and the Peace Corps, has been published by White Hawk Press.
After growing up in Nebraska, Donna joined the US Air Force which brought her to Texas where she was stationed at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth. She enrolled at the University of Houston after discharge and completed her Bachelor of Arts in English in 1974 and received her Master of Arts from UH in 1976 in Public Administration.
Donna began her career in Houston at Andrews, Kurth, Campbell and Jones as a paralegal on the contested estate case of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. For the next fifteen years she worked as a real estate paralegal and law office manager for the Denver offices of Kutak, Rock and Campbell and Kirkland and Ellis. Transitioning into real estate portfolio management, Donna was Director of Real Estate for the Archdiocese of Denver and retired in 2004 as Real Estate Asset Manager for the State of Colorado.
At the Community College of Aurora in Aurora, Colorado, she taught paralegal courses for 14 years and was instrumental in the founding and development of the American Bar Association approved paralegal program at that institution.
Upon retirement, Donna returned to the Big Island of Hawaii where she has family and had lived for a time in her 20s. There she worked for two non-profits and at the age of 57 went to the South Pacific islands of Samoa as Peace Corps volunteer. That life-changing adventure prompted her to write My View from the House by the Sea, her first book.
Her memoir tells the story of adapting to unfamiliar customs and foods, and also to the post-retirement phase of her life. Among the tales of life in Samoa—harrowing bus rides, challenging projects, rewarding relationships, and the joys of living by the sea—she reflects on how the experience changed her and continues to be a vital part of her life today.
My View from the House by the Sea is available online at amazon.com and other booksellers.