Rural Estates Realty is celebrating Howard Bestul’s 50 years as a Realtor with an open house from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Legion Park.
Bestul received his Real Estate license in July 1961. At the time, he also co-owned Bestul Lumber and Fuel Company with his brother, Jerome. This business was located on the premises now known as Firkus Lumber Company. Bestul Lumber was later sold to Richard Anderson, and Bestul established Howard H. Bestul Realty, Ltd. and moved his office to Main Street.
Several downtown buildings have served as the Bestul Realty office throughout the years. Most recently it was located at 125 N. Main St. in the new building constructed after Bestul’s previous office was razed during the 1999 Father’s Day Fire.
A few years ago, Howard Bestul decided to see what it might be like to retire. That didn’t work for him.
Presently he is a sales agent for Rural Estates Realty, owned by Dave Loken.
In about 1957, Howard Bestul, along with his father, Harold, and brother, David, began purchasing and developing properties around many of the lakes in the area and built cottages on many of the lots. It was then that Howard studied for his Real Estate license, attending technical school once a week and studying at home in the evenings. He was one of the first Realtors in Waupaca County.
Throughout his Realtor career, he served two terms as a state director representing the Waupaca County Realtors Association. He also served as the group’s president and on several committees. He received their Realtor of the Year award two consecutive years. He presently serves on the Legislative Committee of the Realtors Association of Northeast Wisconsin.
Community service is very important to Howard Bestul, and he has been active in many community organizations and events.
He has been an Iola Lions member for more than 50 years, having served as president and on various committees. He is a Marvin Jones Award recipient.
He is active in the Iola Conservation Club and works for both the conservation club and the Lions at the annual Iola Old Car Show.
He is also an active member of the Iola Historical Society.
Howard and his wife of nearly 55 years, Kathy, have three married sons, seven grandchildren, one great-grandson and another great-grandchild on the way.