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Ben R. Barnett

Iowa City

Ben R. Barnett, 84, of Iowa City, Iowa, passed away at home, Wednesday evening, Jan. 2, 2019, from complications related to his four-year battle with Parkinson's disease. A private memorial will be held at a later date.
Ben Russell Barnett was born Aug. 25, 1934, in rural Clarksville, Iowa, the youngest child of Ornan and Fern (Marx) Barnett. He was united in marriage to Beverly A. Kocher on Oct. 1, 1955, in Clarksville, Iowa. Ben served in the U.S. Navy, stationed in Hawaii, from 1956 to 1958. After attending Iowa State University, he was a city planner for the city of Burlington, Iowa, until 1964, at which time he relocated to Iowa City to join the firm Powers-Willis and Associates as a landscape architect and to raise his family. When the company closed in the 1970s, Ben became a foreman for McComas-Lacina Construction, a position he held up to about 10 years ago.
Growing up on a farm, Ben never lost his love for the natural wonders of Iowa, especially its wildlife and fauna. In the summer of 1949, he and his brother Joe, both lifelong avid fishermen built a stone cabin on Vermilion Lake near Cook, Minn., which the family enjoyed for many years. In Iowa City, the Iowa River and Coralville Reservoir were two of his favorite respites, although the Mississippi's allure loomed largest.
Although he was a wonderful son, brother, father and grandfather, Ben's true purpose was that of a devoted husband to his lifelong love, Beverly.
Ben is survived by his two children, Leesa (Michael) Johnson of West Branch, Iowa, and Paul Barnett of Iowa City, Iowa; two grandchildren, Matthew and Madison Johnson of West Branch; and one sister, Evelyn Dye of Mesa, Ariz.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, only 26 days before his own, Beverly; as well as his parents; three sisters and three brothers.
Ben's family wishes to thank all of the personnel assisting Wednesday night as well as the Lensing staff for their care.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.lensingfuneral.com.
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