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Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory

Tharp Funeral Home and Crematory
116 Benton Ave. West
Albia, IA 52531
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Memories & Candles

“To Jolene and family I was very sorry to hear of the loss of Barbara she was a very nice person, I have a lot of good memories of growing up in...Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Robin Buitenwerf - Worth, IL

“Barbara and John were friends and neighbors , of my parents , Joe and Olive Howie. When Jolene and I were young we would spend most of the summer at...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Donna Wood ( Howie ) - Ottumwa, IA

“Mike, Sue, Jolene, and Connie I want first to give my condolences to this amazing family. Your mom and I met in Melrose at the Church a great meeting...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Debbie Wolfer - Albia, IA

“I will miss my Aunt Barb so very much, My heart broke with this news. She was the Most compassioante & Giving & Loving person, with a love for God. I...Read More »
4 of 7 | Posted by: Jeff & SueAnn Stiles - IN - Niece

“Connie, Jolene, Mike & Sue & families, SueAnn & I send our heartful prayers & thoughts to all of you. We will miss her greatly. She was such a...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Lois Cooper - Pendleton, IN

“Mike and Sue, I so sorry for your loss. I'm Glen and Roma's daughter. ”
6 of 7 | Posted by: Debra Egbert Foster - Centerville, IA

“Leave a condolence or a memory. ”
7 of 7 | Posted by: Debra Egbert Foster - Centerville, IA


Barbara Jean Besco, age 80 of Albia, formerly of Melrose, passed away on March 3, 2015 at her home in Albia.

She was born May 29, 1934 to Lena and Milton Cooper. She spent her early years at Dalonega and spent her teenage years living in Phoenix, Arizona. She married Bud Baker, and to this union two children were born, Mike and Sue. Barbara and Bud later divorced and she moved back to Ottumwa, Iowa. She worked with Connie Besco who then introduced her to John F. Besco. They were married on November 16, 1963. They moved to a farm south of Melrose, Iowa where they raised Mike, Sue, and John's youngest daughter Jolene.

After retiring from Johnson Machine works, they spent 9 winters in Phoenix where they enjoyed time with many family members who lived in the area. After John's passing, she lived in Melrose until 2009 when she moved to Park View Village in Albia. There she made many friends and was an active part of the community. She was also active in the Hospital Auxiliary.

She is survived by her daughters, Sue Baker of Ottumwa, Jolene (Rob) Abrahamson of Albia, and Connie Besco of Fort Myers, Florida; her son, Mike (Vana) Baker of Joplin, Missouri; a daughter-in-law, Shirley Besco of Sigourney; 9 grandchildren, Kevin (Tonja) Besco of Oskaloosa, Darron (Jaimie) Besco of Wright, Shannon (Brian) Johnson of Burlington, Amy Farrell of Scottsdale, Arizona, Allen Comstock of New Sharon, Kim (Adam) Villarreal of Ranch Santa Margarita, California, Travis (Cindy) Abrahamson of Oskaloosa, Heidi (Tyson) Kaldenberg of Delano, Minnesota, and Josh (Jaimie) Abrahamson of Lucas; 18 great grandchildren, and 5 great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Lena and Milton; her husband, John F. Besco; a son, John W. Besco; 2 grandchildren, a great-great grandchild, a sister, and four brothers.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 7, 2015 at the Tharp Funeral Home in Albia, with Deacon Edwin Kamerick, officiating. Inurnment will follow services at the Highland Cemetery in Eddyville.

Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Friday, March 6, 2015 at the Tharp Funeral Home in Albia, with Barbara's family present from 4:00-8:00 p.m. A 4:00 p.m. rosary will be led by St. Mary's Altar and Rosary Society and a wake service will be held at 7:30 p.m.

A memorial has been established to Monroe County Hospital Auxiliary.

Condolences may be left for the family at www.tharpfh.com.