Barry Pidgeon, beloved husband, father, brother, brother-in-law, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend passed away peacefully on August 24, 2019 at the age of 84. Barry’s intelligence, generosity, impeccable style, integrity, insistence on excellence, and above all, his unwavering dedication to his family will be fiercely missed.
Barry was born in Des Moines, Iowa, the oldest of three children to Leonord and David Pidgeon. After graduation from The University of Texas in 1957, he returned to Des Moines to take the helm of the family business, Pidgeon’s Furniture & Appliances and served as President and Chief Executive Officer.
While in college, he met the love of his life, Zona Kanter, and they married in 1957. Together they raised four sons, traveled the world, served their community, and built a business, which quickly expanded into Dallas where the entire family eventually moved.
Barry was an accomplished and deeply respected business leader, but in his later years, his favorite role was that of grandfather. “Papa” was a true patriarch. He hosted family dinners every Sunday, led holiday gatherings with flair, and took every one of his 9 grandchildren on a Disney Cruise at age 5 to spend time with his favorite character, Mickey Mouse; to Hawaii at age 10; and to London at age 15. Papa rarely missed one of their sporting events, school performances, or milestones.
Barry was enthusiastic about all he did and served his communities with great zeal. Among his many accomplishments, he was President of Tifereth Israel Synagogue (Des Moines), Mid-Iowa Council President of Boy Scouts (he earned both the Eagle Scout award and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Beaver service award and was recognized as a Regent for Life of the National Eagle Scout Association), a member of the Governor’s Task Force, President of the Retail Merchants Bureau, President of the Better Business Bureau and Credit Bureau (Des Moines), a Chamber of Commerce leader, a Mason and Shriner, and a longtime contributor and member of numerous arts organizations and nonprofits including Jewish Federation of Des Moines and Dallas, Congregation Shearith Israel, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes to name a few. Never one to seek the retirement lifestyle, Barry served on the Board of Star Companies, the business he helped found in 1995, until he was hospitalized in April.
He was driven by many passions in life, including the arts, golf, and classic cars and was an avid coin, pen, and watch collector, all of which he took huge pleasure doling out to his children and grandchildren. Above all, he enjoyed traveling with friends and family. Annual trips with the Pidgeon “flock” were the highlight of his year, and he planned each one to perfection.
He is survived by his beautiful wife of 62 years, Zona;his sons, Steven (Leslie), Michael (Pamela), David (Sheryl) and Daniel (Mindi); grandchildren, Pailey (Dan) Nooromid, Micole (Andrew) Cobert, Bayla, Cyra “Coco,” Madison, Bryce, Jaclyn, Max, and Lindsey; his great-grandchild Cooper Nooromid, his brother, Harold (Shirley), sister Sharon (Nat) Koren and a plethora of extended family, dear friends, and esteemed colleagues. His grandchildren are his pallbearers.