Beaverton Historical Society
Gladwin County Obituary/Death Notice
Richard Behnke

   Richard “Dick” Edwin Behnke, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and Greatgrandfather passed away on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2005 at the Masonic Pathways Retirement Community in Alma after a long illness.

   Dick was born in Gladwin on Oct. 19, 1932 to Clarence and Mae (Kimball) Behnke. He lived his entire life in Gladwin enjoying family and friends.

   Dick was very active in his career, community, fraternal organizations, and the Republican Party. He was past chairman of the Gladwin County Republican Party and worked for many candidates throughout his life (Goldwater, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Bagwell, Romney, Milliken, Headlee, Lucas, Engler, Cederburg, Schuette, Camp, Nakkaula, Prescott, Willford and Chattel).

   He served the Gladwin community for many years in a variety of positions including city clerk, county commissioner, city housing development, city parks commission, city building authority, Gladwin Development Corporation, chamber of commerce, and the Gladwin Athletic Association. Dick was a member of the Gladwin Masonic Lodge 397 F & AM, The Scottish Rite Consistory of Bay City, Elf Khurafeh Shrine Temple of Saginaw, Gladwin Rotary Club, and The Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #3292. He had worked for 30 years in the family business, Behnke’s Automotive. Dick also enjoyed a career in the life and health insurance industry, working for Equitable Life Insurance (AXA) and AFLAC Insurance Company.

   He leaves behind in God’s care his loving family, wife, Jean (Brubaker) Behnke; daughters, Debbie Shaffer of Seguin, Texas, Pam Heffner of Gladwin, and Shari (Phil) Caffrey of Gladwin; son, Doug (Tammy) Behnke of Naperville, Illinois; grandchildren, Heather and Marv Ries, Shannon Jablonski, Mark Heffner of Gladwin, Tony and Deann Greer of Grand Rapids, Brad and Peggy Heffner of Ithaca, Shelly Shaffer of Seguin, Texas, Mike Shaffer of Dallas, and Marisa and Elise Behnke of Naperville, Illinois; Great grandchildren, Gabriella and Jillian Ries, Tyler and Jordan Jablonski of Gladwin, Coleman and Carrington Heffner of Ithaca, Tommy and Brittany Greer and Melissa Woods of Grand Rapids, Patrick Shaffer-Haley of Seguin, Texas, Apollo, Alexander and Andrew Shaffer of Dallas, Texas, and Megan Heffner of Port Austin, Michigan.

   Services were held Aug. 28 at the First United Methodist Church in Gladwin. Memorials may be given to the Hospice of Central Michigan and Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.

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Gladwin County Record, Gladwin, MI
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September 2009
Bob Frei
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Posted by Bob Frei with the assistance of Jeff Naugle