In Memory of Rex Handsaker

Rex Handsaker
Rex Handsaker
Born: July 5, 1960
Died: January 27, 2018
Age: 57
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Rex Handsaker
July 5, 1960 - January 27, 2018
From: Colo, IA

Rex Handsaker, age 57, of Colo, died unexpectedly on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at Story County Medical Center in Nevada.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, February 2, 2018, at the United Methodist Church in Colo, with Pastors Douglas Harding and David Burling officiating.  Burial will follow in the Colo Cemetery.  Visitation will be held at the church on Thursday from 5-8 p.m.  The family invites family and friends to dress casually, as Rex would have preferred. 

Born July 5, 1960, in Ames, Iowa, Rex Alan Handsaker was the son of Joseph Wayne and Ester May (Winborn) Handsaker.  He grew up in Colo and graduated from Colo High School in 1978.

On June 11, 1988, Rex was united in marriage to Bonita Shook at the family farm in Colo.  The couple was blessed with two children, Brandon and Brooke.

Rex owned and operated Handsaker Automotive in Colo for 25 years before moving to Sanford, North Carolina, to sell concessions on the NASCAR circuit for seven years.  He and Bonita returned to Colo after his father’s death to assume the family farming operation. 

Rex possessed an innate mechanical ability that served him well.  His inventive, analytical mind enabled him to make, build, or do anything to which he aspired and earned him the nickname “Mr. Perfect.”  Rex had a welcoming, open-door policy at his shop, was never in a hurry, and was a big kid at heart.  He was a member of Midwest Pullers, served as president of the Colo Truck Pull Association, and was a former volunteer on the Colo Fire Department.  He enjoyed truck pulling, drag racing, pedal tractor pulls, and music.  Rex loved his two grandchildren as well as his faithful canine companion, Abby.

Survivors include his wife, Bonita; two children, Brandon (Allison) Handsaker, and Brooke (Jason Sellers) Handsaker, all of Colo; two grandchildren, Riley and Brady; his mother, Ester Handsaker of Nevada; two sisters, Anna Handsaker of Davenport, and Marla Handsaker-Turk and son Jack of South Lake Tahoe, CA; brother-in-law, Steve (Linda) Shook of Las Vegas, NV; sister-in-law, Tamara (Tim) Reed of Zearing; and many nieces, nephews, other extended family members and a host of friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Wayne; his in-laws, LeeRoy and Jenna Faye Shook; and his beloved sidekick, Abby.

Ryan Funeral Home of Nevada has been entrusted with the care of Rex and his family.


Monday, February 19, 2018 at 11:23 AM
“To everyone who loved and enjoyed Rex....He was such a great guy to be around in high school! full of nonsense with that "quick wit" of his. Bonita I believe I sang at your wedding many years ago...I'm glad you had many years of love and laughter with him...God Bless...Julie Upchurch”
- Julie A Upchurch
Monday, February 5, 2018 at 1:46 PM
“Ester and family we are sorry for your loss. May God watch over you and may your memories bring you some peace and comfort. ”
- Jim & Jean Donald
Friday, February 2, 2018 at 2:59 PM
“Ester, Bonita and family, I am sorry to hear of Rex's passing. He was a great man and father. I have lost touch over the years, but knowing what you are going through, My heart aches. Always a good to everyone. If there is anything I can do, just let me know. I am here if you need me. Bonita, you especially, call anytime please. 515-382-3139. So sad for you all. Jolene Oxley Stouwie.”
Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 1:55 PM
“So very sorry for your loss. Rex was a great man who always had a smile on his face. I remember when he used to go to racing trade shows with me to help me sell parts. He was fantastic help who loved being around the racing industry.One particular trip was Indianapolis. We had a blast. He will be deeply missed.”
- Ron and Dena Milhous
Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 12:57 PM
“I will never forget coming to the farm to pick up wood that Rex had for me for my fire place and him showing me his shop and farm equipment it was something he was so pround of. I enjoyed all the stories and history of the century farm. You were one meek and humble man and will be missed by many.
Rest in peace my Friend ”
- Nora cable
Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 12:57 PM
“Bonita, Ester & Family
I was so sorry to hear that Rex passed away. I did not know him but new of him through Ester as she talked about him a lot and I could tell by her conversation; he was a special person. My deepest sympathy to all of you at this time as you mourn his passing. My prayers are with you also.

Valerie Goethals

- Valerie Goethals
Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 12:57 PM
“To my good friend and second mom Ester and families So sorry for Rex’s passing. Doesn’t seem right. Wayne and Rex will b tearing up things in heaven. Wish we were home to b with all of you. Love you. See you in April. Dwayne and Gerri”
- Dwayne and Gerri Gerlach
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 4:47 PM
“Ester and Family,
I am so sorry to hear about Rex. You are in my thoughts and prayers at this time. I pray for God to give you strength, guidance and comfort in this time of need. Love, Mickie Bergeson ”
- Mickie Bergeson
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 1:35 PM
“Praying for you all. Rex will always be in our hearts. Blessed to have spent time with him.”
- Rhodes family
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 11:58 AM
“Rex was kind and generous. He was the epitome of the friendly face that welcome's anyone into the fold. His legacy will live on, and his example will be hard to replicate.
- Jesse Gutierres
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 11:58 AM
“My deepest sympathy for Rex and his family. May he Rest In Peace. God Bless.”
- Dean Buffington
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 11:58 AM
“Ester, Marla, Anna, Bonita and family - I was so sorry to hear about Rex's passing from my mom! I hope that the love of family and friends will comfort and strengthen you in the days ahead. In deepest sympathy, Clara”
- Clara (Crane) Nohre
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 11:58 AM
“Ester and family Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. hugs to you Ray and Marlene”
- Ray and Marlene Couser
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 2:29 PM
“So sorry and shocked to hear of your terrible loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

Ann and Jim Domgard”
- Ann Domgard
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 2:29 PM
“Anna and Family,
My sincerest sympathies to you all. May God be a comfort in this time of sorrow. Ron”
- Ron Bear
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 2:29 PM
“Ella and I were (and still are) in shock upon receiving the call from Brooke about Rex's passing. We met Rex and family when they were here in North Carolina.
We are sending our thoughts and prayers for the entire Handsaker family that God will comfort and protect all. We will all miss Rex mightily.”
- Fred & Ella Rice
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 2:29 PM
“Aunt Ester, Bonita, Brooke and Brandon,

Shocked when we heard of Rex passing. He always connected with us at Winborn events. We know he will be missed by all of his family.
Bob and Dorothea”
- Bob and Dorothea Moberly
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 9:14 AM
“Sorry for your loss ”
- Ryan
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 9:14 AM
“Dear Bonita and Ester, Rex was a great friend growing up and will be dearly missed. The family was truly blessed with a man who loved his family and was passionate about everything he put his name on. Sincerely, Brad and Karen”
- Brad Coughenour
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 9:13 AM
“Dear Aunt Ester, Bonita, Brooke & Brandon,
Our sincere condolences on Rex's sudden death. Losing a son/husband/father after illness is not easy, but a loss like this, without warning, is worse. At the least, he was spared prolonged suffering. You are in our thoughts.
Dick & Jill”
- Dick & Jill Williams
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 9:13 AM
“Marla and family, so sorry for your loss 🙏”
- Michele Gibboney
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 9:13 AM
“We send our deepest sympathies to the entire Handsaker family. ”
- Carla Zeisneiss Sidles
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 9:13 AM
“Bonita Ester and family:
Please know how sorry I was to hear of Rex's passing
Knowing the family since we moved to Colo in 1976 has been my pleasure
Steve and I attended the wedding in 1988 at the farm
Watching your family grow has been a pleasure. Facebook helps me keep in touch with Ester.
Know Rex will be missed by so many. My deepest sympathy during this time of sorrow and grief and the future without your loved one, Rex.”
- Becke Cutler Arnold
Monday, January 29, 2018 at 4:43 PM
“Our deep-felt sympathies to all of you! We are so sorry! We will not be able to attend the services as we are enroute to Florida! Thinking of all of you! Prayers!”
- Bob & Judy McCollom
Monday, January 29, 2018 at 3:15 PM
“Dear Bonita, Ester, Brooke, Brandon, Allison and family:
My sympathies to you and your whole family. My heart aches for all of you. Such a kind, wonderful person Rex was. Lucky you to have been able to have called him, son, husband, dad and grandpa. You are in my prayers. God bless Rex and Abby! Together again!

Carmi Olson”
- Carmi Olson
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1:30 p.m.
Friday, February 2, 2018
United Methodist Church
Colo, IA


Pastor Douglas Harding
Pastor David Burling


Jim Handsaker
Randy Herink
Keith Wilson
Branden Schnur
Rob Tjelmeland
Rod Geisinger
Josh Shook
Joel Reed

Riley Handsaker
Brady Handsaker
Jack Turk, Nephew


5-8 p.m.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
United Methodist Church
Colo, IA


Colo Cemetery
Colo, IA