SKANDIA, Mich. - Charles B. "Chuck" Behrens, age 80, of Skandia, passed away Apil 29, 2012, at his winter home in Brooksville, Florida, with his wife, Mary Lou, and son, Charlie, at his side, while in the care of Hernando County Hospice.
Born September 29, 1931, in Hagerman, Idaho, a son of Herman Behrens and Ella (Gridley) Bowen, Chuck was raised in Hagerman and graduated from the Hagerman High School. He entered the U.S. military in 1947, serving for three years in the U.S. Army, and then transferring to the Air Force where he continued his career for twenty-three years.
During his career, he served at McDill AFB, Mountain Home AFB, Korea, French Morocco, Madrid Spain, with two tours of duty in Vietnam. His awards and citations include Army Good Conduct Medal with 5 bronze loops, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal with 1 bronze star, Korean Service with 1 bronze star, Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Longevity Service Medal with 1 silver oak cluster, Small Arms Expert Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with 1 oak leaf cluster, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 bronze stars, Meritorious Service Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Occupation of Japan Medal, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. He retired from the military in 1974, having served during the Korean Conflict and Vietnam Era, with the rank of Master Sergeant. Following his military retirement, Chuck worked as an independent insurance agent for 18 years, and was employed by the Elder Agency, Larson, Hetrick, and Weaver Insurance Agency, and the City Insurance Agency. He then worked for K and K Industries as a job superintendent for military contracts in South Dakota, North and South Carolina, and Virginia. Chuck took great pride in his lawn, flower beds, and small vegetable garden. He especially enjoyed watching the deer that frequented his backyard, approaching almost to his deck. Chuck also volunteered his time at Marquette General Hospital, escorting the dialysis patients, and looked forward to adult night out with his church group. He was a charter member and life member of the Knights of Columbus and a former member of the Lions Club.
Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Mary Lou (Johnson) Behrens; three sons, Charlie R. Behrens of Lutz, FL, Mark (Rhonda) Behrens of Nashville, GA, and Ronald (Tina) Steele of Winter Haven, FL; five grandsons, Charles Salyor, Randy Irick, Skylor Behrens, Joshua and Jake Steele; two granddaughters, Courtney and Brittany Behrens; two great-grandsons, Max and Ace; one great-granddaughter, Ruby Mae; four stepchildren, Jeffrey (Tammy) Hurst of Skandia, Louanne (Scott Martin) Larson of Little Lake, Valerie (Pat McLaughlin) Grange of Marquette, Clayton (Patrice) Johnson Jr of Skandia; seven stepgranddaughters, Bambi (Luke) Swetich, Crystal (Casey Jamison) Larson, Danielle (Brandon) Walker, Alycia (Steve Kaiser) Grange, Jessica Hurst, and Courtney Johnson; one stepgrandson, Michael Grange; eight step great-grandchildren, Austin, Lucas, Lilly Swetich, Ethan, Larson, Owen Jamison, Audrina Kaiser, Easton Walker, and Dustin Mock.
Chuck was preceded in death by his parents, Herman R. Behrens and Ella Bowen; brother, Arlie Behrens; step-great granddaughter, Kennedy Kaiser.
The family will receive friends at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Skandia on Thursday, August 30, beginning at 10:00 a.m. A memorial service will follow at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. James Duehring officiating. Inurnment will be made in the church cemetery with veteran's honors provided by members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 380. A luncheon will follow in the church fellowship hall.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.fassbenderfuneralhome.com