Bernard J. (Barney) Beecher, 95, of Waterloo, died peacefully at home on Friday, March 27. He was born February 3, 1920 in Dougherty, Iowa, son of Irish parents John and Luella (McCabe) Beecher; the second of seven children. The family moved to Elma, Iowa in 1924, where he attended Immaculate Conception Academy. He later attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Iowa in 1941. Bernard was united in marriage to Mary Margaret Kies on October 28, 1944. She died on August 25, 2013.
He worked at the Howard County Equity, Rath Packing Company, and Crescent Electric Supply Co. in Waterloo, prior to joining his father-in-law, Arthur “Art” Kies in business; starting Kies Electric Supply Co. on July 7, 1953. Following Art’s death in 1958, Barney continued in the business until his retirement in 1986. During retirement, he and his wife enjoyed spending winters in Sun City West, Arizona, where they were members of Queen of Peace Parish and Briarwood Country Club.
Bernard is survived by two sisters, Veronica (“Ronnie”) Riley and LuAnn Hutchins of Charles City, five sons, John (Mary Kay) and Robert of Waterloo, Richard (Barbara) of Sewell’s Point, FL, Jim (Lisa) of Lemont, IL, and Joseph of Charlotte, NC; and six daughters, Ann (Mike Mulligan) and Joan of Dubuque, Jane and Barb (Bruce Lehnen) of Waterloo, Susan (Jeff Leech) of Rock Island, IL, and Jean (Greg Horihan) of Rockford, IL, twenty-six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of sixty-nine years, his parents, three brothers, Edward, Louis and Gerald, sister Mary Jane, and daughter Gerry.
He was a member of the choir at St. Edward’s Catholic Church, a Boy Scout leader, a member of Sunnyside Country Club, Elks Club and the Knights of Columbus, and a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. Barney was also a long-time member of the National Association of Electrical Distributors.
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