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He was born on Nov. 6, 1927 to Jess and Gladys (Rogers) Newberry. He was married to Betty Jo McFarlin, also of Ava, on July 31, 1948 in Mountain Home, Ark. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Moline, Ill. where Harley was employed by American Air Filter for over 36 years. At the time of his retirement he was a controller.
Harley was very well known throughout Illinois, Iowa and Missouri for his musical talents, singing and playing guitar.
His first band was known as Harley Newberry and the Sunset Rangers. With this band, he played in Illinois and Iowa at many different venues including fairs, benefits, dances, etc. Following his retirement in 1985, he and Betty returned to Ava where he played with longtime friend and musician, Bob Holt.
They often played for square dances, Poke Salat Days, Hootin an Hollerin, school festivities, fairs and many other events all of which included vocal sets by Harley.
Making all the years of playing more enjoyable was that Betty was always a member of the band with him. He also used his musical talents to sing God’s praises and was a member of Silvis Heights Baptist Church while in Illinois and Star Chapel in Ava.
Harley’s active service in the Army began Feb. 20, 1946. When he was honorably discharged on May 5, 1947, he was a part of Company A 532nd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment at Camp Morro Bay, Calif., serving as an engine man. He received the World War II Victory Medal, with the distinction of Sharpshooter Rifleman M-1.
Harley is survived by his wife and sweetheart of 62 years, Betty; two daughters, Kathryn (Newberry) Heston and husband, Stephen, of Charlotte, N.C., and Linda (Newberry) McNiece and husband, Buddy, of Pflugerville, Texas; four grandchildren, Amy (McNiece) Raigosa and husband David of Pflugerville, Texas, Nathan Heston of Harrisburg, N.C., Stephenie Heston-Walker of Charlotte, N.C., and Matthew McNiece and wife, Jennifer, of Brownwood, Texas; four great-grandchildren, Keilen Raigosa, Clover Heston-Walker, Kyleigh Raigosa and Troy Heston, and many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Lola and Vergie, brother “Bob” and great- granddaughter, Willow Wind Heston-Walker.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either White’s Creek Cemetery, Star Chapel, Douglas County Neighbor Helping Neighbor or other charities of your choice.
To honor and celebrate his life, a visitation was held Sunday, Oct. 3, 4 to 6 p.m. at Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava, Mo. Services were held Monday, Oct. 4, at 10 a.m., in the funeral home followed by interment at White’s Creek Cemetery with military honors by Douglas County American Legion Post 112 and Ava VFW Post 5993.
Online condolences may be made at www.clinkingbeardfuneral home.com.