Brandon Bee II   








Issue # 108                                                                                   October, November, December 2017


Little White Chicky

A little over a year ago Lisa J. Lutz a long time resident of Brandon decided to write a faith based children’s story about one of their farm animals. Since Lisa has worked as teacher of the blind and visually impaired for twenty-five years, she thought it would be a wonderful opportunity, as well as a learning experience to write and publish a book for her son Mikah.

Lisa and her son Mikah currently live on her family farm and have a wide variety of animals that they take care of including ten cats, a dog, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas, miniature goats, and a rabbit. When you live on a farm there are so many many wonderful memories and stories that take place.  Adventures on the Farm Little White Chicky just happens to be one of those unforgettable memories and stories.

The story is about a little white chicken that accidently wanders too far from home and ends up getting lost. While doing chores Lisa and Mikah realize that Little White Chicky is missing. Where could she be? Worried about Little White Chicky, Lisa and her son Mikah pray and ask God to keep her safe and if possible help her find her way back home to her loved ones. Will Little White Chicky find her way home? Does God answer Mikah’s prayers? Some of the other characters in the book include local neighbors and friends from the Brandon area (Peggy Stephens, Judy Stephens, their granddaughter, and Andy Erger).

If you would like to purchase a book for your kids or grandchildren it is available at Barnes and Nobel and Amazon for $11.95 or you can find it on E-books.

Lisa and her son Mikah have a few copies available if you want to drop by the farm and pick up a copy for $9.00

Thomas McKinley a former resident of Brandon created all the illustrations for the book. He has been a lifelong friend to Lisa and her family.

For Lisa and her son this book will be a family heirloom that can be handed down from generation to generation. For the rest of us it is a cute little story that reminds us that hope, faith, and love still exists.










Friday, December 1st and Saturday, December 2nd.  Watch for the complete flyer, which will be out by the first part of November. 




BRANDON, IOWA                       25th ANNUAL                     DECEMBER 1 & 2, 2017



BOTH FRIDAY DEC 1st~5- 9 pm  AND

 SATURDAY DEC 2nd~ NIGHTS 4:30- 8:30 pm


SANTA CLAUS-Have your picture taken 6:00- 8:00 pm$4.00

WREATH/ GIFT BASKET AUCTION- Bid on a Beautiful Wreath or Great Gift Basket donated

By local businesses and individuals. Auction ends Saturday at 8:30 pm

RAFFLE- Homemade items made by local craftsmen.....Tickets 2 for $1


FREE WAGON RIDES- Take a trip around Brandon to see the lights.

TREE DECORATING CONTEST- Decorate a tree. Winners determined by viewer’s votes.

Due to popular request this event will continue to be held.


There will be different age categories and categories for homemade vs. made from a kit.

They will be displayed and voted on by viewers.Please construct on a board strong enough to transport to the Community Center.See separate flyer. Contact Denise 319-474-2387

LIGHTING CONTEST- Vote for your favorite town display at Candy Cane Lane by housenumber or name.

COMMUNITY GIVING TREE- Pick a child's envelope from the tree at Methodist Church and make a local child's Christmas merrier.To add a child's name to the tree, contact Denise 319-474-2387 (confidential)

CHRISTMAS WINDOW DISPLAY - at Historical Society Bank Building- Main Street

BRANDON BEAR CREEK CHURCH (South of Brandon on V71) - annual Open House Saturday December 2nd 2-4 pm Refreshments and Entertainment will be provided. Everyone is welcome.



Craig and Judy Albert along with their family will be hosting their 6th annual Thanksgiving Meal at the Brandon Community Center.   Thursday, November 23, 2017 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.  They invite everyone to join them for the Turkey and Ham Dinner with all the trimmings.  If you plan to attend, please bring a non- perishable food item(s).  All items collected will be donated to the local food pantry.  Monetary donations will also be collected.  Each year the monies collected have benefitted local organizations.   If you would like to donate toward the dinner please contact Judy Albert at 319-474-2361.







Parade theme this year was “Mardi Gras”. Thank you for participating in the parade and events.

We had several people comment on the great participation in the parade for the size of our community.   Winners of events were as follows:


Children Barrel Race                                             Volleyball

Ages 2, 3, &4                                                            1st Green Team – Erger Farms                             

1st Hunter Schuman                                                            2nd Digs- Greta, Olivia, Mora, Gracee, Ashlee

2nd Jace Rogers                                                                        and Maggie

3rd Derbi Holt


Ages 5,6,& 7                                                             Parade Winners:

1st Kayleigh Erger                                                    Business Floats

2nd Hannah Kellogg                                                            1st Smokey Hilltop Ranch- Doug Lehman Family

3rd CC Priebe                                                            2nd Cuts by Us- Tally Aldrich/Chris Palmer

                                                                                    3rd Phat’s Pub and Grub

Children Flag Race                                                4th Erger Farms

Ages 2, 3, & 4

1ST Hunter Schuman                                              Floats- Other

2nd Derbi Holt                                                            1st Brandon Tigers

3rd Weston Kellogg                                                  2nd Garden Club

                                                                                    3rd Ron Boyer Family

Ages 5, 6, & 7                                                           4th Historical Society

1st Kayleigh Erger

2nd Evy Priebe                                                          Walkers/Bicycle

3rd Hannah Kellogg                                                 1st Sweet Pickins- Susie Albert Family

                                                                                    2nd BACC

Archery Contest

1st Justin Schmadeke                                             Tractors

2nd Seth Stacy                                                          1st Larry McCardle


Horseshoes                                                             Big Ball Tournament Winners

1st Jessie Berry and Shane Palmer                      1st Wee Willies

2nd Jim Scott and Bob Bearbower                         2nd Misfits

3rd Brett Dage and Rory Clark


3 Double Ringer Winners                                     Bags Tournament Winners

Ty Cornwell                                                               1st Ty Cornwell and Blake Clark

Dustin Clark                                                              2nd Ty Albert and Jim Kohltoff

Jessie Barry


Thank you to the Dave Erger Family for organizing the Barrel Races and Flags, Archery Tournament,

Volleyball and Children’s Bike Parade. Thank you to Tony and Dustin Clark for organizing the horseshoe tourney, Blake Clark for organizing the Big Ball Tournament, Jeremy Nichol for organizing the Bags Tournament, John Lindaman Family for having the petting zoo, the Methodist women for having the pie and ice cream booth, Craig and Judy for the Tractorcade, Kelly Thomas and Tally Aldrich for organizing the parade, Patrick Lehman for heading the car show and cruise and Jackie Hoffman for working all year on the auction and the BACC members, and community volunteers for helping in the concession stands, at the supper, participating in the events. 




The BACC committee is already making plans for 2018. We have chosen a theme for next year…..  “PIRATES”   So think Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sea Pirates, Jake and the Never land Pirates, Descendents 2.……use your imagination.


The BACC has been fundraising for the new concession stand at the Brandon City Park.  The City of Brandon will be bringing the sewer lines into the park in the near future.  Once the sewer lines are in place we can begin the construction of the building. The building will have flush toilets. We have been successful in raising funds through projects, donations and a grant BUT are still short on funds.  If you would like to donate money toward this project please send donations to BACC, Box 163, Brandon, Iowa 52210.  On the memo line please note: Concession Stand Fund.  Thank you in advance for supporting this project.



 In April I decided to step out on faith and created an outreach program called Be The Change Group Fitness. I wanted to provide people in my community an opportunity to participate in a fitness program that focused on more than just getting in shape or losing weight. I wanted to provide an environment that was nonjudgmental, friendly, and inviting for everybody and every type of body. I also knew I wanted to help fund local organizations, charities, projects, and events that take place in my local towns/cities. Be The Change Group Fitness does not charge participants to take the class. Instead you are allowed to decide what you think the class is worth and provide a free will donation that is generously given to a monthly charity decided on by the group. 

What exactly takes place in a REFIT class?

Well, REFIT combines several elements of fitness into a power-packed hour. While the focus is structured around cardio-dance movements it also includes toning, flexibility strength training, and stretching. The choreographed routines are easy to follow and will welcome beginners and challenge those who are fitness enthusiasts. The music is positive, uplifting, and motivational. Classes will be held at the Brandon Community Center on Thursday nights from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. beginning on September 28, 2017 and ending on October 26, 2017. I encourage you to visit my Face book page Be The Change Group Fitness and see for yourself the impact this class is having in the lives of the participants and in our community.  ~ Tess Erger



Our local quilting group, Connie’s quilters donated a quilt that was auctioned off at the Brandon Day Annual Auction.  The New Concession Stand Fund was the recipient of the proceeds from this beautiful quilt.  This year’s quilt raised $300 and went to its new home in North Barrington, Illinois.  Thank you to Karen Thomson for supporting a wonderful cause.


The quilters will begin meeting again in October.  If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Marlene Brown at 319-474-2166 to obtain details on the meeting date and time.








Saturday, October 21, 2017 the Brandon Historical society will be hosting a Craft/Vendor sale and Bake sale at the Jefferson Township Hall. The event time is 9 am- 3pm. The Historical Society will have a lunch for purchase and a baked goods sale. Table spaces are $10.00 each. If you are interested in table space contact Marlene Brown at 319-474-2166 or 319-210-1678, if no answer leave a message, please.


Anyone interested in joining the Historical Society should contact Marlene Brown.  The group meets the 4th Tuesday evening of each month.



Christmas is fast approaching.  The Historical Society will have Kid’s Shopping Day on Saturday, December 2nd.  Kids may shop for gifts for parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers etc. from 10 am to 1:00 pm.  The gifts will be wrapped and tagged for each child by volunteers.   All may shop from 1:00 to 2:30 pm.  Gifts are reasonably priced with most under $5. 

We will accept donations of new or “like new” toys, home décor, jewelry, and other gifts.   We are also in need of volunteers to help younger shoppers and assist with gift wrapping.  Gift wrap, bags, boxes, tape, tags are welcomed donations also.  If you are willing to help this day, please contact Marlene Brown 474-2166.



 The Historical society will be having a soup/sandwich supper during the Annual Christmas Festival. Tentative plans are set for Friday, December 1, 2017 at the Brandon Methodist Church.  Please watch for additional information in the Christmas Festival Flyers.



Brandon Area Community Club’s Annual Halloween Party is planned for Sunday, October 29, 2017, 1-3 pm at the Brandon Area Community Center.  Children ages 0- 6th grade are welcome to attend.

There will be games, prizes, and food.  Costume contest is at 2 pm- Note special category: Group Costume Category.  Please contact Denise Lehman 319-474-2387 if you have door prizes to donate, Judy Albert 319-474-2361 to donate food and Theresa Stacy 319-721-9675 to help with the games.



The City of Brandon will have Trick or Treating on October 31st from 6-8 pm. 




The Brandon Area Community Club would like to thank everyone that attended and/or volunteered at the 27th Cowboy Breakfast, on Sunday, September 17, 2017. We served just nearly 800 people.  We had a beautiful day for the breakfast.  We appreciate the continued support of the community and every person that took the time to stop by.  









By Dr. James K. Huber    September 16, 2007


Brandon brings back the cowboy breakfast of old

They have a menu that went up to those old trails untold.


Early in the morning they start up the fire

Till the coals are so that they will melt wire.


The Dutch ovens are filled with gravy and meat

While the skillets are filled with other good things to eat.


Mounds of onions and potatoes are fired

With tall stacks of pancakes on the side.


The biscuits and gravy are steaming hot

And there’s cowboy coffee in a five- gallon pot.


The coffee’s so strong a horseshoe will float

And it will straighten the hair on a buffalo coat.


People come to Brandon from miles aroun’

To eat the Cowboy Breakfast put on by the town.


The dates for bags for this season have been set!  Please bring your own drinks and a

snack to share.  We hope to have a great turnout this year!  In the previous year some of the nights

 we were lacking participation and we were wondering what is keeping you from participating? The

time, the day of the week, cost? Please give us some feedback.  You can leave your feedback a

319-474-2387.   We have decided to implement an incentive again this year for the person who has the most first place finishes in the bags tournaments during the season. This person will receive an award at the end of the season.


Bags start at 4:30 pm each night

Bags is $5 per person


October 8th

November 12th

January 21st

February 11th

March 11th

April 8th



Thank you to Orlene Snider for her donation and her continued support in helping with the printing cost and postage for the Brandon Bee II. 









The Brandon United Methodist women will be hosting a guest night on Wednesday, October 18th, at 6:30 pm at the Brandon United Methodist Church.  Women from the community are welcome to join us for an evening of food, fun and fellowship.   A meal will be served and program to follow.  This year’s program is on Bee Keeping with featured speaker, Mary Wiltgen. This is a free event.



Volunteer Day at Camp Courageous will be Wednesday, October 25th, leaving from the Brandon Methodist Church at 8 am.  Anyone wishing to join us should contact Bev Bearbower for details at




The Brandon United Methodist women will be hosting a Christmas Tea on Monday, December 4th,

1-3 pm, at the Brandon United Methodist Church. Women of the Community are welcome to join us on this the national “All you can eat” day.  It is a relaxing reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.



The next session of BASH will be held on Wednesday, October 4th at Brandon United Methodist Church.  This month’s program will include a visit from the Brandon Fire Department.


Children in kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to attend. BASH is held the first Wednesday of each month with the exception of January, (there is no BASH in January). The sessions start after school (4:15- 5:30). Each month there is a program, an activity and snacks. ALL children are welcome. 
Dates: November 1st, December 6th, February 7th, March 7th and April 4th


The 5th Sunday Potluck Dinner:
The 5th Sunday Potluck dinner will be held on Sunday, October 29th. Everyone is welcome to attend this event following church services. Potluck will be held in the church basement around 12:15 a.m.  Please bring food to share and come enjoy some Christian fellowship. Beverages will be provided. 

PIE AND ICECREAM SOCIAL: The Brandon United Methodist Women held their annual pie and ice cream booth at the Brandon City Park during the Brandon Celebration on Saturday, August 5th.

We thank everyone that came and shared some delicious pie and fellowship. 



The Brandon Methodist Youth Group has quite a few upcoming events on their fall calendar!  


· September 23 – Helped out at the church supper.

· October 8 (rain date October 15) – Check out Palmer’s Family Fun in Waterloo.

· October 29 (rain date November 5) – Rake the church yard.

· November 26 – Ring the Salvation Army bell at Wal-Mart.

· December 2 – Serve soup and sandwiches at the church during the Brandon Christmas Festival.


Be sure to follow our Face book page to stay current on any updates or changes.  We will be sharing more details as the dates get closer.  If any area students in grades 6-12 would like to join, let us know.  We’d love to have you!

The Annual Homemade Chicken and Noodle Supper was held on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at the Brandon United Methodist Church. Menu included Homemade Chicken and Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Squash, Green Beans, Salad Bar and Dessert. Country Store and Bazaar was held upstairs in the side room. We served about 309 meals. The UMW would like to thank everyone that helped in any way to help us pull off another successful dinner.     Thank you those who helped on September 9th to make the noodles.  Special thank you to Lopata Farms, Quasqueton, for the donation of the squash for the supper and Barb Albert for her donation of egg yolks each year. 

Contact information for the Brandon United Methodist Church:
507 Main Street
319-474-2362 Pastor’s cell phone number 319-930-0234
Sunday School is at 10:00 am (Adult classes 9:45 am) Fellowship time is 10:50- 11:15 am. Worship service begins at 11:15 am. Handicap accessible.
Pastor Lexie Kirkpatrick




Contact Information for Church of Church Information:

Pastor Lenny Power

Sunday School @ 9:30 Both Adult and Children

Morning Service @ 10:00 starting in October


Starting Monday October 16th @ 6:30-7:30 we will be starting a 3 part series called

How To Find, Follow, and Fulfill God's Will. The teaching will come from Andrew

Wommack ministries.


Starting Wednesday October 11th 6:30-7:30, we will be reading the Bible

from Genesis- Revelations. Come read through the Bible or just come and listen.

It's such a wonderful feeling when all of the body of Christ can come together as one.

Everyone is welcome.


Christmas in Brandon: We will be having light refreshments from 6-6:45 with

entertainment following at & 7:00. Both nights.


Sunday December 24th we will have Sunday worship @ 10:00 and that

evening we will have a candle light Christmas Eve Service from 6-6:30 with the lighting

of candles in honor of our Heavenly Father.


New Fall Church Hours: Service will start @ 10:00, starting the 1st Sunday in October.




The Brandon Food Pantry located at the Brandon Kwik Stop is in need of the following items (peanut butter, soups, crackers, pasta, tuna, canned meats, hamburger/tuna helper, paper products, etc.) If you would like to make a monetary donation to help purchases these items you can drop it off at the Brandon Kwik Stop. Anything you can do to help this worthy cause would be greatly appreciated. Thank You. 







The Brandon Fire department held their annual fundraising auction on Sunday October 1, 2017 at the Brandon Area Community Center lower parking lot.  Brandon Area Community Club had lunch on the grounds.  The Brandon Fire Department would like to thank everyone for their continued support of this yearly fundraiser.



Josh Ohrt and Jill Halstead, Tripoli, would like to announce their engagement and upcoming marriage. Josh and Jill will be married on Saturday, October 28, 2017 in Frederika, Iowa with reception following in Waverly.  Parents of the couple are Sandy and Darin Halstead, formerly of Brandon and Max and Janell Ohrt.  Grandparents are Janice and Darwin Halstead, the late Janet and Larry Weekley, the late Chester and Phyllis Ohrt and Norma and the late Wilbert Bergman.


Shelby Lehman and Mitch McMartin, rural Brandon, were engaged on August 12, 2017.  The couple is planning their wedding on September 8, 2018.  Shelby is the daughter of Jen and Randy Lehman, Brandon.  Mitch is the son of Mark McMartin and Kris and Mark Recker, all of Independence.

Grandparents are Connie and Mark Chase, Independence, Sharon and Delbert Koopman, Vinton and Dick (Dorothy Wenger) Lehman, Fairbank.


Brooke Clark and Corey Hewitt, La Porte City, were engaged on May 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington and will be married on October 14, 2017 at Hickory Hills Lodge near La Porte City. Brooke is daughter of Becky and Rory Clark, La Porte City, grandparents are Berniece and the Late Kessler Clark, Brandon and Barb and Glen Larson, La Porte City. Corey Hewitt is the son of Mike and Julie Hewitt of Fort Dodge, Iowa.  Brooke is an Operation Manager and Corey is a Stock Control specialist at Nordstrom Inc., Cedar Rapids.  The couple resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.



Candace Little and James Hocken were married September 2nd, 2017 at the First United Methodist Church in Independence with reception following at the Henderson Event Center, Independence.  Parents are Mike & Beth Little, Brandon, Donnie & Kelley Doyle and Richard & Crystal Straw, all of Independence.  Grandparents are Marlene Steinbeck, Independence, Esther Little, Brandon, and Bob and Joni Hocken, Independence.  

Bradley Rose and Lindsey Erger were married on September 9, 2017 at Usher’s Ferry in Cedar Rapids.  Parents of the couple are Brad and Shelly Erger, Rowley and Jim and Kim Rose, Marion.

Grandparents are Judy and Al Heims, Dee and the late Jack Rose, Betty and Harold Erger and the late Ben and Loretta Snitker.




Austin and Whitney (Lehman) Holt are pleased to announce the birth of their second daughter, Delaine Marie Holt.  Delaine was born at 3:07 p.m. on September 26, 2017 at Covenant Hospital in Waterloo.  She weighed in at 8 pounds and 12 ounces and was 20.75 inches long.  Proud sister is Derbi Maxine Holt.   Grandparents are Doug and Kathy Holt, Independence and Doug and Denise Lehman, Brandon.  Great-grandparents are Dick (Dorothy Wenger) Lehman, and Sharon and Delbert Koopman, and Dolores Novak.







Marjorie H. Rouse, Vinton, celebrated her 100th Birthday on September 16, 2017.

Marjorie was born September 16, 1917 to Ethel and George Davis in rural Jesup.  She married Harold Rouse ( 1914-1958) on January 22, 1939 and they lived near Brandon where he had his own trucking business.
Marjorie taught elementary school over twenty-five years in country school, Brandon Consolidated and Vinton Public Schools.

Her family includes daughter Margaret (Gary Shontz) of Cedar Falls, three grandchildren, Suzanne of Lawrence, Kansas, Robert (Tara) Shontz of Cummmings, Roxanne (Josh Heimann) of Dike and six great grandchildren.
Cards may be sent to 1001 ½ West 16th St., Vinton, Iowa 52349




 The Mobile food pantry is returning to Brandon.  It will be held each Month at the Jefferson Township Hall in Brandon. Mobile food pantry is open to families in NE Iowa who have a need to supplement their grocery budget.  No cost is involved but you need to supply your name, address and household size. (Information gathered is used to keep tally of the number served in the communities and in the event of any recall on food items)  They do need assistance unloading food for distribution at 9:30 am. The distribution of food is from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.  

Scheduled dates are: October 28h, November 18th, December 16th.  




This year the Lime Creek Fish and Game Club Conservation Scholarship was awarded

to Jacob Schwarting. Congratulations Jacob for receiving this scholarship.

Lime Creek Fish & Game Club held their summer picnic at Hare’s Pond and Recreation

Area near Rowley.  We had a picnic dinner.  Many of the members went fishing

while the others spent the afternoon visiting.

Lime Creek Fish and Game Club donated three $20 prizes that were used as door prizes

during Brandon Days Community Supper.

We held our September meeting at the shelter in the Brandon City Park. Events for the

upcoming year were discussed.




The Brandon Garden Club awarded their Beautification Award to Daniel and Melissa Sweerin.

Their yard looked really nice this summer. Thank you for a job well done.

We entered a float in the Brandon Days Parade and were awarded second place in our division.

At our recent meeting we discussed how to use various items we have laying around as lawn decorations. There were some neat ideas shared.

Our next meeting will be 0ctober 23, 2017 and will be our early Christmas Party. Instead of having

a gift exchange we will be collecting personal care items to donate to MHI.








Lyle Marter Sr., 87, passed away quietly at his home, Thursday, August 24, 2017, following a long illness.   Funeral services were held on Monday, August 28 at Phillips Funeral Home in Vinton, Iowa. Burial was in Bear Creek Cemetery, rural Brandon.   Lyle was born April 30, 1930, at Brandon to Albert and Esther (Roster) Marter.  He married La Donna Murphy in 1950 and they enjoyed 66 years of marriage.   Lyle served in the Army from 1951 to 1953.  He survived by his wife, LaDonna of Vinton; his children, Lyle Jr (Lorraine) Marter, Wayne (Sherry) Marter, Cheryl (Russ) Baier and Terry (Barb) Marter; 10 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.



Charles Russell Rouse, 81, of Independence, IA, died Saturday September 16, 2017 at his home in rural Independence.  Russell was born December 19, 1935 in Brandon, IA, the son of Charles and Vera (Gallaher) Rouse. He attended the Brandon Schools. On June 17, 1956 he married the love of his life, Marilyn N. Schnepf at the Brandon Methodist Church in Brandon, IA. The couple moved to Independence in 1962. He worked as a truck driver for 34 years, driving for Corn Blossom and Iowa ham. He retired from driving in 2001. He continued to work on his farm in rural Independence.
He enjoyed taking Marilyn dancing, and they would go every chance they had. He loved deer hunting, John Deere collectibles, and attending and helping with auctions.
Russell is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marilyn, Independence, IA, his children Tony Rouse, Independence, IA, Teresa (Bob) Higdon, Rowley, IA, and Tom (Brenda) Rouse, Independence, IA, five grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, a daughter-in-law Dawn Rouse, a grandson Christopher Rouse.  A brother Carl Rouse and three sisters Opal Rouse, Ruth Schnepf, and Genevieve Bauer.

A funeral service was held on Thursday, September 21, 2017, at 10:30 at the Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory in Independence, IA, with Rev. John Hougen officiating. Burial at Wilson Cemetery.



Donald J. Bearbower, age 59, of rural Jesup, Iowa, died Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City of lung cancer.
He was born March 16, 1958 in Independence, Iowa the son of William and Melba (Buchholz) Bearbower. Don attended Elementary School in Rowley and graduated from Independence High School with the Class of 1976. He was united in marriage with Mona “Susie” Downing on October 10, 1981 in Independence.
Don worked for Weitz Industrial for many years, retiring in 2017. He loved to work on projects at the farm, gardening, and being outdoors; he especially loved deer hunting. He was a member of Laborers Union Local 43.
Survivors include his wife, Susie of Jesup; a son, Andy (Ira) Bearbower of Madrid, IA; a daughter, Chelsea (Jon) Judd of Rowley and a granddaughter, Amy Bearbower of Madrid.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Ronald and a sister, Sandra in infancy.

Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at Reiff Funeral Home in Independence with burial in Mt. Hope Cemetery.








Harry L. Backer, 55, of Brandon, IA died Monday, July 17, 2017 at the Convenient Care Clinic in Garden City, KS.
Harry was born on August 21, 1961 in Waterloo, Iowa the son of Donald L. and Bessie E. "Evelyn" (Knapp) Backer. He was a 1979 graduate of Waterloo West High School. On August 23, 1997 he was married to Lisa Ann Bartels in Cedar Falls, IA. They made their home in Waterloo, IA, until moving to Brandon, IA in 2011. He worked for Bertch Cabinets, and XL Specialized Trailers.
He is survived by his mother Bessie "Evelyn" Backer, Waterloo, IA, his wife of 19 years, Lisa, Brandon, IA, four children; Jennifer Wyatt, Mason City, IA, Donald Backer, Leanne Backer, and Harry Backer Jr., all of Brandon, IA, and two grandchildren. Also surviving are his three sisters Carolyn (Douglas) Mulder, Aplington, IA, Diane (Dennis) Ernster, Brandon, IA, Virgina (Louis) Reiss, Evansdale, IA, and his two brothers, Steven (Lisa) Backer, Holland, IA, and, Scott (Lidia) Backer, Aurora, CO. He is preceded in death by his father, Donald Backer.
A Celebration of Life was held on Friday, July 28, 2017 from 3 to 7 PM at the VFW Hall 128 3rd Ave NE, Independence, IA 50644.


John M. McFarland, 77, of Vinton, formerly of La Porte City and Brandon, died Tuesday August 8, 2017, in the Ed & Joan Hemphill Hospice Unit at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

A Celebration of John’s Life was held on Monday, August 14, 2017, at the American Legion in Vinton.

John was born June 25, 1940, in Iowa City, the son of Harvey and Pearl Marshall McFarland.  He graduated from La Porte City High School in La Porte City, Iowa.

John proudly served his country in the United States Army from 1963 until 1965.

He was a truck driver for Empire Gas and also worked for the city of Brandon.  He was a fireman for the Brandon Fire Department for 29 years and served as Fire Chief.  He was also employed by Brandon Electric Motors.  He retired in 1998.

John enjoyed spending time on the farm with brother, Bill.  He also enjoyed showing horses and playing cards.

John is survived by two sons: David(Brenda) McFarland of Waterloo and Robert (Sara) McFarland of Ely; two daughters: Angie McFarland of Brandon and Kayleen LaPointe of Creston; five brothers: Cliff (Nancy) McFarland of La Porte City; Dennis (Marie) McFarland of Brandon; Darryl (Lorraine) McFarland of La Porte City; and Jim (Deb) Jungling and Bill (Deb) Jungling, both of La Porte City; two sisters: Carla Kennedy of La Porte City and Sue (Tim) Kelly of Waterloo; four grandchildren: Abby Brown, Zachary LaPointe, Kaitlyn Maneely and Casen McFarland.  He is preceded in death by his parents.


Donald R. Finley, 79, of Independence, Iowa, died on Saturday, August 12, 2017, at Lexington Estate, in Independence of Advanced Alzheimer’s Disease.

He was born on March 13, 1938, on the family farm north of Brandon, the son Raymond Newton and Evelyn Lucille (Cornwell) Finley.  He attended Hardwick Country School through the 8th grade and graduated from Brandon High School with the Class of 1956.  On July 12, 1959, he and Karen Marie Trumbauer were married at Grace Lutheran Church in Jesup.

Don worked as a Machinist at John Deere in Waterloo for 30 years.  He also served on the Brandon Fire Department for 30 years.   He loved the family farm with this being his 54th crop year.  He raised his family on the “home farm” and in 1988, retired to Independence.

Don is survived by his wife of 58 years, Karen, three daughters, Janet (Scott) Miller of Long Beach, New York, Donna Finley of Waterloo and Linda (Bud) Sondag of Waterloo, and one son, Russell Finley, living on the family farm at Brandon.  Also surviving are his grandchildren, Robert, Kelly, Abby, Kayla, Gregory, Amanda, Dustin, Samantha, Danielle, Cole, Caryn, and Ky, his great-grandchildren, Nathan, Lynndzie, Corbin, Maribel, Madison, Maison, Leyton, Emmalyn, Elexis, Hunter, Briley and Caley and 1 great-great- granddaughter, Emma.  He is preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, Terry Gene.

Family graveside services were held on August 15, 2017, at Brandon Cemetery in Brandon, Iowa.


Roxann Bistline, daughter of Virginia Bistline, a longtime Brandon area resident, was going through her mother’s keepsakes after she passed recently.  Roxann came upon the following poems and articles, Virginia had earmarked them to be sent to the editors of the Brandon Bee II to share with all of you.  Please enjoy!



Imagine praying and hearing this:


“Thank you for calling My Father’s house. Please select one of the following four options:

Press 1 for requests

Press 2 for thanksgiving

Press 3 for complaints

For all other inquiries press 4.”


What if God used the familiar excuse: “All of the angels are helping other customers right now. Please stay on the line.  Your call will be answered in the order it was received.”


Can you imagine getting these kids of responses as you call on God in prayer:

            “If you’d like to speak with Gabriel, press 1.  For Michael, press 2. For any other angel, press 3.  If you want King David to sing you a psalm, press 6.”

            “To find out if your relative is here, enter his/her date of death and listen for the list that follows.”

            “For reservations at My Father’s House, simple press the letters J-O-H-N on the keypad followed by the number 3-1-6.”

            “For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, the age of the earth, and where Noah’s ark is, wait until you get here.”

            “Our computers show that you have called once today already. Please hang up immediately.”

            “This office is closed for the weekend.  Please call again Monday.”

Thank God, you can’t call Him too often!  You only need to ring once and God hears you.  Because of Jesus, you never get a busy signal.  God takes each call and knows each caller personally.  When you call, the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and He will say, “Here am I!”


YOU KNOW YOU’RE FROM IOWA IF……… (an excerpt from Our Iowa Magazine)


You measure distance in miles, not hours.

You sometimes wear shorts and a parka at the same time.

You carry jumper cables in your car, and even your wife or girlfriend knows how to use them.

Your idea of “going down south” means driving to Missouri.

Your dad’s suntan curves around the middle of his head.

Vacation means going east or west on I-80 for the weekend.

You install a security system and lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked.

You know all four seasons. Almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.

You have a lengthy phone conversation with someone who dialed the wrong number.

You often switch the thermostat from heat to A/c in the same day and back again.

Your idea of creative landscaping is a deer statue next to a blue spruce.

Your idea of going out to eat is another tail gate party.

You have more miles on your snow blower than on your pickup.

Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole shed.

Your golf course only has 9 holes.


YOU KNOW YOU’RE FROM IOWA IF continued……… (an excerpt from Our Iowa Magazine)


You give directions by references: “Turn left at THE stoplight, turn right at Nelson’s house, go 2 blocks past Renze’s, and it’s the house left of the football field.”

You avoid buying dark cars because they show too much dust.

Your gym teacher suggested you haul hay for the summer to bulk up.

You know the name of every dog in town.

You wave at people whether you know them or not.




 There is a town called Don’t You Worry

On the banks of River Smile

Where the Cheer up and Be-Happy

Blossom sweetly all the while.

Where the Never- Grumble flower

Blooms beside the fragrant Try,

And the Ne’re-Give-Up and Patience

Point their faces to the sky.


In the Valley of Contentment

In the province of I-Will

You will find this lively city

At the foot of No-Fret Hill.

There are thorofares delightful

In this very charming town

And on every hand are shade trees

Named the Very-Seldom – Frown


Rustic benches, quite enticing

You’ll find scattered here and there;

And to each a vine is clinging

Called the Frequent-Earnest –Prayer.

Everybody there is happy,

And singing all the while.

In the town of Don’t You Worry

On the banks of River Smile.


The deadline for the January, February, March  issue of the Brandon Bee is due by December 15, 2017
Editors’ note: Please submit your information to the Brandon Bee to Denise: or 3326 Hamilton Ave., Rowley, IA 52329. Teresa: or 3221 Dugan Ave., Brandon, IA 52210. Complete issues of the Brandon Bee II will now be published on the Brandon Area Community Club’s website at


The Brandon Area Community Club's website recently was redesigned. Please be patient as some pages are still under construction. Take a moment to visit the website and give your feedback.


Issue #108                                                                        OCT, NOV, DEC  2017