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Burton Cashner

Burton Robert "Bob" Cashner

Sunday, March 7th, 1937 - Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
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Obituary

Burton Robert (Bob) Cashner was born on March 7,1937 in Julia Close Nursing Home in Independence to Benjamin Slocum Cashner and Vyrna (Lynch) Cashner. He had a large family including his older sisters, Sylvia (James) Milbach, Anita (Frances) Webb, younger sister Susan (Greg) Knott, and his identical twin brother Benjamin (MaryAnn). He grew up on the family farm near Brandon, attending a one-room country school and then graduating from Brandon High School in 1956. After graduation, he began working in the foundry at the John Deere Tractor Works in Waterloo.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army and drove a 6x6 Deuce-and-a-half truck from 1957 to 1959 at Fort Chaffew, AR and Fort Hood, TX. This "simple country boy" served one year in Aschaffenburg in what was then West Germany during the Cold War and was thrilled with the opportunity to travel in Germany and several European countries.

After his service, he returned to John Deere, where he worked as a truck driver until his retirement in 1984. In 1960 he took flying lessons from a local instructor until he was able to do a solo flight in a Piper Cub light plane.

He married Bonita (Bonnie) Finkenbinder of Wyoming, Iowa on October 20, 1962. She died of a heart condition in 1964, after undergoing one of the first open-heart surgeries in Iowa. It was a tragic time for Bob as he also lost his twin brother Ben and good friend Tom Johnson in a car crash in 1963.

On July 25,1965, he married Judy Kay Behrens at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Independence. They honeymooned to Yellowstone National Park in their Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible and lived in a trailer house on the family farm until they bought the 160-acre farm near Winthrop. They were happily married until her death in 2012. They had three children Robert (Olivia) of Wilsall, MT, Catharine of Cedar Rapids, and Benjamin (Angela) of Monticello. Bob was a devoted grandfather to his grandsons Benny and Collin, always ready to sneak the boys a little gift or surprise.

Bob was a life-long farmer and was very proud of the farm that he and Judy farmed while both holding down outside jobs. He kept pace with new farming methods as they came along and tried new concepts like minimal till, contour row cropping, and terracing. He had one of the first gravity box wagons that are now the standard. His efforts earned him several soil conservation awards over the years, and part of the farm was left in timber, waterways and brushy fence lines that provided important wildlife habitat for the deer, turkey, and pheasants that they loved to watch. He could repair almost anything "farmer-style" with duct-tape and wire. Bob Junior always thought of Big Bob in the words of an old country music song: “He can twist it, he turn it, he can bang it, he can burn it…and make it work just like new.”

Bob never knew a stranger and always had a story to tell. One evening he took a phone call and wound up chatting away for a good fifteen minutes. When Judy asked who he had been talking to for so long, he answered, “Oh, it was actually a wrong number, but we got talking about farming.” He loved to travel. When the Cashner children were in school, every summer Bob would take everyone on a family vacation to somewhere, usually in the pickup truck with a small camper on top. Judy would write to chambers-of-commerce along the way so these trips included visits to museums as well as amusement parks and national parks.

When they had both retired, he and Judy visited many states together and took some nice package tours. Their travels took them to Point Barrow, Alaska where Bob had his wallet stolen, to the Napa Valley of California, and to the house and ranch where the TV show Bonanza was filmed, as well as several trips to Washington, DC, and to Montana to visit their kids. In 1998, they traveled to Germany where Judy still had cousins (Rausch and Behrens). He enjoyed camping with friends and for many years went fishing with friends in Canada and Minnesota, returning home with containers of walleye and wild blueberries.

He maintained his commercial driver's license for years after retirement and volunteered to deliver relief supplies to Iowa after the floods of 1993. He loved cars and could identify most 50s and 60s cars at a glance. He kept his sense of fun and tried ziplining for the first time in his late 70s. Bob was always ready to help others and was a caring brother, father, grandfather and uncle.

A special thank you to the staff of Prairie Hills and Cedar Valley Hospice for their compassion and care for Bob.

Private Graveside services will be held at the Mt. Hope Cemetery, Independence, Iowa, with Rev. Greg DeBoer officiating. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be sent to the Burton Cashner Family, %Reiff Family Center, 216 3rd Ave SE; Independence, IA 50644
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Service Details

  • Service

    Location
    Mt. Hope Cemetery
    Address
    INDEPENDENCE, IA 50644
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Private Graveside Services will be held.
    Officiant
    Rev. Greg DeBoer
  • Interment

    Location
    Mt. Hope Cemetery
    Address
    INDEPENDENCE, IA 50644
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Affiliations

  • American Legion

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David Olsen

Posted at 08:36pm
I have memories of Bob (and family) going back as far as I can remember into my early childhood. He was always such a quiet, kind gentleman. To us as kids, he was one of the "cool dads" that always had some story about one of their adventures on a summer trip, or his time in the army. He was definitely a blessing to those around him:-). Our condolences to the Cashner family , Bob was a gem and he will be missed.
LV

Leon Vick

Posted at 01:42am
I few years ago, I worked in maintenance at Prairie Hills. Bob loved his Prairie Hills community and was always involved in their activities. Bob was happy there as he was always smiling. Anytime I was doing maintenance in his room, I needed to plan for some extra time because he would have new family photos to show off. He had lots of family photos on his door, inside and out. One photo was of Bob standing with a grandson. Bob would say, look at how tall he (grandson) is, then he would smile. On the John Wayne photo, Bob asked me if I could pick out which one was John Wayne, and of course he smiled. Bob's military service was an extremely important part of his life. He also loved his farm photo hanging on the wall. Bob was a gentle man. We were all blessed to have known him. Prayers for Bob's family.
Leon Vick, Independence, Iowa
 
C

Catharine Posted at 06:54pm

Thanks for sharing these memories. Dad made a lot of friends at Prairie Hills.
BC

Bob Cashner

Posted at 07:13pm
Dad sure got a lot of mileage out of this picture.
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