John Barbee, Evelyne David, and Helen Hosier

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John Barbee John Barbee was born September 13, 1920 in Colorado Springs, CO.  There were three siblings – a brother and two sisters – growing up in rural Colorado where he loved to fish and hunt with his father.   “Some of my fondest memories are of being with my father and listening to him talk about life,” Barbee says. “Every night he would read books to us. We had no electricity so my father would light up a lantern as we crowded around him.  My father was a talented blacksmith and taught me how to use tools. He was a very smart man. I attribute my success in life as a person and the strong values I hold, to the influence of my father. My mother passed away when I was very young, my father died when I was in my mid-teens.” After his high school graduation, Barbee entered the military in 1939.  Because he was already a pilot, he quickly progressed to becoming a B-17 pilot.  Some of his first training in Texas was flying the P-39 (a forerunner to the P-40), and the B-18.  He flew B-17s in the South Pacific, an received significant awards, including the Purple Heart and the Silver Star because of his World War II experiences.    After the War, Barbee held several high level occupations with dignity and honor, some agriculture related.  Eventually, his experience landed him a prestigious career in the banking industry, moving through the ranks to retire as president of a bank in Southern California. He and his wife were married for 68 years before she recently passed away.  They began residency in Winters in 1990 on their  ranch. He is a Real Estate Broker and an accomplished Building Contractor. When asked what advice he would give to a young person today, Barbee answered, “Love, trust, and do no harm.  Believe in yourself.” Evelyne David   Evelyne David was born on June 14, 1919 in Freedom, Nebraska.  She has three children, one son and two girls. She learned how to sew on her mother’s Singer Sewing Machine that had pedals (a foot treadle by which you activated the mechanism).  She grew up on a farm and in her teens helped with the farming and harvesting. Following high school graduation she attended a one-year business school to learn business skills.  During the early part of World War II, she began working at a plant where B-24s were being built and developed her skills as a plant electrician, assembling bombsites for the B-24s. If a young person were to ask her what to do with their life, she would tell them, “Get a good education.”   When asked how she wants to be remembered, David stated, “Being helpful.” Along with her daughter, she moved to Winters from Oregon in 2016.   Helen K. Hosier    Helen Hosier was born in Hull, Iowa, on January 26, 1928 into a mourning family. Her father had died five months before her birth.  Awaiting her arrival was her mother, a 10 year old brother and a 5 year old sister. Growing up fatherless during the Great Depression was hard for the little family, but her Mother was a resilient, young and godly Dutch woman with strong faith and reliance on God and the Bible. Soon after graduation from Sibley, Iowa high school, Hosier was offered a position with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) in Washington, D.C.  She made the cross country trip alone at the age of 17. She had never been further away from home than to Sioux Falls, SD, 65 miles away. Then, some time later, she was asked to make another cross-country trip to Los Angeles, CA, to work with her sister-in-law’s brother (with whom she worked in Washington).  Together they helped found the California Fertilizer Association (CFA), These were challenging opportunities, but she seized them and excelled. She moved her Mother from Iowa and they established their home in Bellflower in southern California. She met her soon-to-be husband and married in 1947. She had a strong love for books – reading them and haunting a favorite bookstore in Los Angeles on her lunch break while working.  A dream began to develop in her heart: Wouldn’t it be great to own such a bookstore!   Early in their marriage, Hosier and her husband saw that dream become a reality and eventually they owned two such bookstores.  But she was also a writer at heart, and soon, through a series of remarkable events, she was not only selling books, she was writing them and today has over sixty-books in print, hundreds of magazine articles, and even writes the column “Over a Cup of Coffee” for The Winters Express.   In 1995, Hosier’s husband died, and she opened Beautiful Finds, the antique, book and gift boutique on Railroad Avenue in Winters, doing alone what she and her husband had planned doing together in their retirement years.  Five years later, heart bypass surgery saw her having to close her store, She moved with her son, Kraig, to a Dallas, Texas suburb for twelve years. In 2012  they returned to Winters where she continues to write and spend time with friends and family.  They, along with a businessman friend, lovingly tend and care for seven outdoor cats.  “They are God’s little creatures and need love and care,” Hoiser says. “We can give that.”  What advice would Hoiser give to a young person?   “Trust yourself to the God who made you for He will never fail you.”  And also, “Be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God, in Christ, has forgiven you.”  Hosier has three children – one Winters daughter, one daughter in Canada,  one deceased son, and one Winters son. There are seven grandchildren, three deceased; and ten great-grands.    ]]>

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