Richard B. "Rick" Fiester (1921 - 2011)

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INDEPENDENCE - Richard B. "Rick" Fiester, 89, of Independence, died on Monday, June 13, at the Buchanan County Health Center in Independence following a short illness.
He was born on Dec. 6, 1921, in Independence, the son of Clarence L. and Grace Lowmiller Fiester. He graduated from high school in Independence in 1939 and from the Independence Junior College in 1941. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1941, and was a fingerprint clerk for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 and served in the Pacific Theatre of World War II until his discharge in 1946. He returned to Independence and started working at the Farmers State Savings Bank.
On July 22, 1947, he and the former Agnes Marie Duffy were married at St. John's Catholic Church in Independence. Between 1949 and 1957, Mr. Fiester worked at the Independence Produce Company, Corn Blossom Foods, Inc., and finally, as assistant manager for Oliver M. Greenley.
In 1957, he returned to the Farmers State Savings Bank (later BankIowa) as an officer. Before his retirement from active banking in 1986, Mr. Fiester filled the posts of loan officer, cashier, vice president, trust office and director.
He was the head loan officer for 25 years. In 1963, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Banking in Madison, Wisc. Mr. Fiester retired from the board of directors in 2003.
In addition to his activities at the bank, Mr. Fiester was an Executor, Administrator, Guardian, Conservator, Agent, referee, and Trustee for 68 different entities. He clerked over 500 personal household and farm auction sales.
Mr. Fiester was very active in many area organizations, usually in a leadership or financial role. Over the years he was President of the Independence Area Chamber of Commerce; President and Secretary/Treasurer of the Independence Lions Club; City of Independence Treasurer; Clerk of Washington Township, Buchanan County, Iowa; Director of the Buchanan County Fair Board; Founding Member, Director, and Treasurer of the Independence Industrial Development Corporation; Finance Officer of the Sheehan-Tidball American Legion Post 30; Independence Little League Baseball Manager; Independence Softball League Manager; Treasurer of the Buchanan County Democratic Committee; and Treasurer of the Buchanan County American Red Cross. He was also a member of the Bechter-Boies V.F.W. Post 2440, the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Order of Foresters, and the Wapsipinicon Golf Club.
Throughout his career, Mr. Fiester's 64 year membership at St. John's Catholic Church in Independence and his 37 year membership in Alcoholics Anonymous helped keep him focused and on track. He was the first President of the St. John's Catholic Church Lay Advisory Committee and he also served as the first Eucharist Minister in the parish.
Mr. Fiester is survived by his wife of 63 years, Agnes, one daughter, Susan McMorris of Cedar Rapids, three sons, David Fiester and Mark (Lynda) Fiester, both of Independence, and Steven Fiester of Cedar Rapids, five grandchildren, three step grandchildren, one great grandson, and one nephew, Paul Fiester of Denver, Colorado.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, George Fiester, one sister, Shirley Murphy, and one nephew, Michael Fiester.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, June 16, at St. John's Catholic Church in Independence. Burial was in St. John's Cemetery in Independence.
White Funeral Home of Independence is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from June 18 to July 18, 2011
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