Barbe, a Florida native who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia studied drama at the University of Georgia and started making announcements for the Audichron Company in Atlanta in the 1960s, annoncing time, temperature and weather as well as sponsors' messages. In the 1970s and 1980s she made recordings used when a number was disconnected or no longer in service. She also recorded the time announcements used to this day on NBS (now NIST) radio station WWVH.
The recordings are part of an automated intercept system which replaces generic recordings with custom messages, such as repeated the number dialed and then giving a new number if the original had been changed. The first automated intercept systems used rotating drums containing multiple recorded phrases, with a computer or mechanical control system playing phrases in the proper sequence.
Barbe, a former professional singer who once toured with the Buddy Morrow Orchestra, gained a small notoriety in recent years appearing in commercials and on television shows as the "Time Lady".
Barbe died July 18, 2003 in Roswell, Georgia at the age of 74 of complications from cancer. She is survived by her husband, John Barbe, her daughter, Susan Stubin of Passaic, New Jersey, her son David Barbe, of Athens, Georgia, and seven grandchildren.