Barbara Condo’s legacy of helping abused children is arguably unmatched in this region.
Since 1976, Condo and her husband, Gerald, founded One Way Farm in Fairfield as a safe haven for abused and neglected children, and she was credited with helping more than 12,000 children between the ages of 8 and 18 until the facility closed in 2018 when she stepped away due to health issues. On Jan. 31, she died in her home. She was 85.
“She made a difference in a lot of young people’s life, and I don’t know if that could be measured,” said former Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller. “There’s a ripple effect to that as they get older, and you have to look at what Barb and her people did to help all these kids.”
He said Condo was a “perpetual fundraiser” to make sure she could help as many children as she could.
“It was always about the kids. That was her mission and she did it well,” Miller said.
Webster Funeral Home has handled arrangements, and owner Bob Webster, a longtime friend of Condo’s, said they had several long conversations over the years, which included Condo telling him her life story.
“It was heartbreaking to hear,” he said of some of the trauma Condo experienced as a child.
Her work with the One Way Farm was “the height of altruism to take in abused children,” he said. “The stories she told about some of these children, you wouldn’t believe it. It was hard to imagine a kid would have to endure that. The way she cared for them―you talk about kind-heartedness, there’s no other word to describe it.”
Condo was born on Aug. 22, 1937, in Big Bone Lick, Ky..
She created a home for children of similar backgrounds, which came to fruition through hard work and partnering with many businesses and individuals. Condo took many approaches to help the children of the One Way Farm, including animal therapy.
Credit: By Michael D. Pitman
Credit: By Michael D. Pitman
Condo won many local and state accolades for her efforts as a champion of neglected and abused children, including being recognized as a Cincinnati Woman of the Year.
One Way Farm was purchased by the Rev. John and Kathy Rice in 2019, and they reopened it, continuing Condo’s legacy.
“I don’t think it’s an understatement to say Barb was legendary in our area, dealing with abandoned, abused, misplaced kids,” he said.
Many of the kids have not forgotten Condo, said Rice.
“I still get phone calls periodically from kids when she was there, and they just wanted to call to let somebody know they’ve made it and are being successful,” he said. “That really touches me. They still have a connection with One Way Farm.”
In 2019, Condo told the Journal-News, after the Rices purchased the property, she was pleased to know “what I spent 40 years building will not be gone.”
Condo is survived by six children Kathy (Bob) Hendricks, Theresa Payne, Steven (Becky) Osborne, Laura (Greg) Lutz, Adam (Erin) Condo, and Andrea Banks; seven grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. Barbara is also survived by her lifelong friend Edna (Bonnie) York.
Barb Condo Remembrance
A Celebration of Life will be from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge #407, 820 Pyramid Hill Blvd., Hamilton.
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