Decatur County, Iowa
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Obituary ~ Hamilton Barton "Bart" Gilreath
August 03, 1941 ~ May 28, 2009
Funeral services for Bart Gilreath, age 67 of Bedford, who died Thursday, May 28, 2009 at his home in the loving arms of his wife Connie, were held Monday, June 1, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. at the Ritchie Funeral Home in Bedford. Interment was held in the Fairview Cemetery in Bedford. Instead of flowers the family requests memorials be directed to Hospice of Central IA or the Bedford Ambulance. Bart requested causal dress for his funeral! He was taken to the cemetery on the back of his semi . . . 'ol blue! Memories can be shared with the family at www.ritchiefuneralhome.com. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Bedford.
Hamilton Barton Gilreath, named for two grandfathers, was born on August 3, 1941, in Lincoln, NE the son of P.W. Gilreath and Ruby (Faubian) Gilreath. Bart passed away at his home on May 28, 2009, with his loving wife Connie by his side, two years after a brave and courageous battle with lung cancer.
As a young boy, Bart and his mother lived in South Dakota with his Grandpa Faubian while his dad was in World War II. After the War, they, along with sister Sharilyn, moved to Clarke County IA. It was here that sister Dianne joined the family. Bart attended grade school in Osceola, Waukee and Van Meter, Iowa. He also attended the Christian Church. The family moved to Bedford in 1954, where Bart attended the Bedford High School, graduating with the Class of 1959. After moving to Bedford, Bart worked for Bill and Lorraine O'Dell on the farm during the weekends and in the summer months. This formed a life-long friendship and he considered them family. Later, Bart worked for Vanzo Drennen and at Dougherty Elevator. He also drove a rock truck for C.D. Easter and H.M. Cooper. His first over-the-road truck driving job was with Bill Orr Trucking of New Market, Iowa . . . . . and . . . THAT WAS IT . . . . . HE WAS HOOKED! He had other over-the-road jobs with Dougherty Elevator, Armour Truck Lines, Murphy Co-op, Hunter Truck Lines, Hardisty Elevator, Viner Trucking and Dean Hensley.
Bart purchased his first truck, a 1973 K.W. in 1975 and his pride and joy, OLE BLUE, in 1978. In the early years of ownership, he was leased to Mickow Corp (TMC) and Keane Thummel Trucking. After obtaining his own authority, he ran from the Midwest to the Rio Grande Valley. Due to ill health, he ran his last trip to Texas in June of 2007, although he was still able to attend some truck shows. During his life-long truck driving career, he formed many friendships that he cherished to this day. Bart loved John Wayne, country music, the IA Hawkeyes, the Dallas Cowboys, the Bedford Bulldogs, 4-Wheeling, the noise and smoke of tractor pullin, NASCAR with his favorite driver being Jeff Gordon, reading Ralph Compton novels, animals and that 'ol blue truck!
However, the love of his life and true soul mate, was Connie Norris, who he was united in marriage to on December 6, 1964. Together they shared forty-four years of happiness and joy. When Connie walked into a room, Bart's eyes would light up and that grin would appear on his face, and you knew you were in the presence of true love. Bart was a member of the American Truck Historical Society; Owner-Operator Independent Driver's Association; and the Taylor County Fair Board. In his earlier years, Bart rode with the Pony Express Riders of IA and was a member of the Taylor County Sheriff's Posse.
Left to cherish the memories of a wonderful husband and friend are his loving wife Connie Gilreath of Bedford; two sisters, Sharilyn Gilreath of Littleton, Colorado; and Dianne Freeman and husband Butch of Carson, IA; aunt Ruth Faubian of San Antonio, Texas; special brother-in-law, Ronnie Norris of Bedford; special nephew, Kevin Freeman of Carson, Iowa; along with many other nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors and a community of friends.
Preceding Bart in death are his parents, P.W. and Ruby Gilreath; his in-laws, Gerald and Theola Norris; and his uncle, Willard Faubian.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, October of 2013