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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

B. L. "Barney" Hester

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Barney Hester
B. L. "Barney" Hester, 90, of Cherokee, passed away peacefully in his sleep, Saturday morning, Jan. 30, 2010 at The Gardens in Cherokee.

Memorial services will be on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 11 a.m. at the St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cherokee. Rev. Magrey deVega will officiate. Burial will be in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Cherokee at a later date. Visitation will be on Friday, Feb. 5 from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. with the family present from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Boothby Funeral Home in Cherokee. Masonic services will be held on Friday evening at 7 p.m. at the Boothby Funeral Home. Online condolences can be left at www.boothbyfuneral.com.

Barney was born on Feb. 20, 1919 at Ida Grove. He attended public schools there and graduated in 1937. He worked in his parent's hotel and restaurant business (The Baxter Hotel) before starting work for the Iowa Highway Commission. In 1942 he entered the U.S. Army and was involved in the invasion of France on D-Day. He served as a transportation officer. After leaving the Army in 1946, he joined the Army Reserve where he obtained the rank of Major.

After the service he moved to Cherokee, where he worked for the Iowa Highway Commission. He met Ramona Hunter of Sloan and they were married on April 15, 1951 at Sioux City. Barney worked as survey crew chief for 15 years for the Iowa Dept. of Transportation, headquartered at the Resident Engineer's Office in Cherokee. There is hardly a highway in Northwest Iowa that he did not work on. In June 1960 he was hired as the Director of Public Works for the City of Cherokee. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1983.

Barney joined the Masons in 1946 and in 1950, transferred his membership to the Speculative Lodge of Cherokee. He was a past master and 64 year member. He had also served as the secretary and treasurer of the lodge for many years. In 1947 he joined the Abu Bekr Shrine Temple, where he served as Recorder. He was honored by being made Recorder Emeritus. A former potentate described him as the "Ultimate Shriner."

Barney loved cooking--especially for large groups of people. He was famous for his "Barney Beans", sugar cookie, toffee, and his biscuits and gravy. After he retired, he was known throughout Cherokee for his habit of sharing these goodies and visiting various friends and organizations.

He was preceded in death by his parents, great uncle and aunt, and his wife Ramona on Dec. 18, 1984.

He is survived by his four children: Dan Hester and his wife Sharon of Oklahoma City, Okla.; Sara Johnson and her husband Gary of Plymouth, Wis.; Rebecca Hester of Des Moines; Barbara Moreau and her husband Jeff of Littleton, Colo.; three grandchildren: Nathan Johnson of Scottsdale, Ariz., Cassandra and Audrey Moreau of Littleton, Colo.

Memorials can be made to the Abu Bekr Transportation Fund for Crippled Children;

P.O. Box 3347, Sioux City, Iowa 51002