State Center Man Loses Son and Business in Tragic Turn of Events

State Center Man Loses Son and Business in Tragic Turn of Events

A devastating fire destroys a woodworking warehouse, adding to the heartbreak of a grieving father who lost his son in a car crash just months prior.

In a small town in State Center, Iowa, tragedy has struck a local family twice in a span of six months. Barry York, a sixth-generation woodworker, is now grappling with the loss of his woodworking warehouse, which was destroyed in a fire on Thanksgiving Day. This devastating event comes on the heels of another heartbreaking tragedy – the death of Barry’s son and business partner, Bruce York, in a car crash earlier in the year. As the community rallies around Barry, he shares a message of love and resilience that emanates from his profound loss.

A Lifetime’s Worth of Work Reduced to Ashes

The fire that tore through Barry York’s woodworking warehouse on Thanksgiving Day has left him reeling. The warehouse, which housed generations of woodworking expertise, was a symbol of the family’s legacy. Barry, who has been in the business for over 20 years, described the scene as he surveyed the damage – charred equipment, debris, and unfinished projects. The loss is estimated to be around $200,000-$250,000, but the emotional toll is immeasurable.

A Family Business Passed Down Through Generations

Woodworking has been a part of the York family for seven generations, dating back to their ancestors who settled in Davis County in 1846. Barry York and his son, Bruce, continued this legacy as business partners, crafting everything from furniture to intricate woodwork. The plan was for Bruce to eventually take over the business, as he had become the lead craftsman while Barry contemplated stepping back. However, Bruce’s untimely death shattered those plans and left a void in both the family and the business.

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Coping with Loss and Finding Strength

Barry York’s journey through grief has been arduous. Losing his son and business partner in a tragic car accident was a devastating blow. Bruce, at 43 years old, had been an integral part of the woodworking shop and was poised to carry on the family tradition. Barry fondly remembers his son’s dedication and the pride he took in his work. The void left by Bruce’s absence is felt daily, but Barry finds solace in his family, particularly in his grandson, Bruce’s eight-year-old son. He recognizes the importance of being there for his grandson, who now faces life without a father.

Embracing Love and Gratitude

The double tragedy has taught Barry York the importance of expressing love and gratitude to those around him. He encourages others to seize every opportunity to hug their loved ones and tell them how much they mean, as life can change in an instant. Barry’s resilience and determination to carry on his family’s woodworking legacy is fueled by the love he has for his family and the memory of his son. Despite the immense loss, he remains committed to preserving the craft and passing it on to future generations.


The devastating loss of a woodworking warehouse and the death of a beloved son and business partner have tested Barry York’s strength and resilience. As he navigates through grief, he sends a powerful message of love and gratitude to those around him. The State Center community stands in solidarity with Barry, offering support and comfort during this challenging time. Though the road ahead may be difficult, Barry’s determination to carry on his family’s legacy serves as an inspiration to all who face adversity.

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