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Local woman known for coaching, award-winning cookies gets 90th birthday parade

Whether it's for her coaching or for her cookies, Barb Hanauer is well respected

BLOOMFIELD, Ind. (WTHR) — She is one of those rare Hoosiers.

"Like to get a mile or two in everyday," Barb Hanauer said. "It don't hurt while I'm walking. It's afterwards."

Fortunately she doesn't have to walk that far today. It's her 90th birthday, so she will just take a seat and watch the world roll by, but she does enjoy walking. In fact, she has the hardware to prove it.

"I won a lot of the 70s and older," she said, referring to races. "Everybody quits."

(WTHR/Kevin Rader)

She coached the cross country teams at Bloomfield Jr./Sr. High for 37 years. She loved her athletes and they loved her and their T-shirts give you a hint as to why. They read "We run for Hanauer Cookies."

"I entered them at the State Fair three times," she said. "The first time I got a red ribbon. The second and third time I got blue ribbons — best of all the chocolate cookies, so I quit while I was ahead."

She didn't quit baking, just the competitions. She estimates she baked around 17,000 chocolate chip cookies a year. Anyone who needed inspiration would get a plate of her cookies.

Some call her the "Cookie Lady," a nickname she said she got from legendary Purdue basketball Coach Gene Keady.

"He saw me in the hall sometime and he said 'It's the cookie lady.' That is how it got started," she said.

So now, unbeknownst to her, she has a front row seat to watch her world roll by via an impromptu birthday parade.

"We love Mrs. Hanauer. I have three cross country runners," one mom said.

Whether it's coaching or cookies, she's loved by many. She's certainly deserving of the serenading she received from a beautiful little girl from the sunroof of her parents passing car.

"Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday; Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday to you," she sang.