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Donald Hubbard Bestor Obituary

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Donald Hubbard Bestor Obituary

Posted: 13 Oct 2002 9:52AM GMT
Classification: Obituary
Edited: 16 May 2003 7:11PM GMT
Surnames: Bestor, Hubbard, Cyrier, Klassen, Pinbell
From the January 22, 1970 Evansville Review:

Don Bestor

Don Bestor, 80, a one time resident of Evansville, whose career as a dance orchestra leader reached a peak in the the 1930 (sic) when he was music conductor for comedian Jack Benny's radio network show, died Tuesday at Metamora, Illinois.

Funeral services were held at the Mason Funeral Home, Metamora, and burial in Maple Hill Cemetery, Evansville where his mother, the late Mrs. Robert Bestor, lived for some years (sic!).

Bestor's years in the "big" time of the entertainment world ran from the 1920's through the early 1950's. He was well-known as a pianist, composer, and arranger as well as "big band" leader.

Born in 1889 in South Dakota, his parents moved to Black Earth in 1893, and to Mazomanie in 1896. Bestor started playing piano and writing music at about age 14. His father sold pianos in the area.

He was first married in 1908 to Hattie Cynier (sic). His first real professional engagement was at about that time - as orchestra leader and pianist at the Majestic Theater in Madison.

With his brothers he later operated a music store in Madison.

In 1921 he joined the well know (sic) Benson Orchestra of Chicago, and was made director in 1922. The orchestra made hundreds of Victor recording (sic). Divorced in 1923, he ws married again in 1925 to Frankie Klossen, a dancer. By 1925 he was leading his own band, the Don Bestor Orchestra.

He met Jack Benny in 1927 when both were appearing on the Orpheum Circuit, and was engaged for the Benny radio show in 1932. Divorced again, in 1944, he was married the third time in 1945 to Beulah Pinbell, Norwalk Conn., while he was musical director at New York radio station WHN. In 1958 the couple separated. Bestor had children from all of his marriages. He retired in 1953 at Westport, Conn. For the past year and a half he had lived at Metamora.

Bestor is survived by his wife, Beulah; a son, Donald H. Bestor, and a daughter, Robyn Bestor, all of Greenwich, Conn. another (sic) daughter, Mary Ann Rogers, New Jersey, and a sister, Mrs. Sidney Baer, Metamora.

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