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OBITUARY: James H. Behnke

James H. Behnke, age 79 of Brillion, passed away unexpectedly on March 13, 2019 due to a massive heart attack.

He was born on July 21, 1939 in Green Bay, son of the late Herman C. and Esther (Beilke) Behnke. He proudly served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He worked at the Ariens Co. in Brillion for 20 years and decided to farm. Jim married Florence Fischer on May 8, 1965. They enjoyed 53 years together, working side by side on their dairy farm and together raised their 5 children. He enjoyed hunting, especially trips to Canada with Corey, and fishing at their cottage at White Lake. After his retirement, Jim enjoyed traveling with Florence, bird watching and driving tractor, when needed. He was a member of St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church in Brillion, the Becker Bloedorn Jensen American Legion Post 126 of Brillion for 50 years, Brillion Conservation Club and the White Lake Association.

Survivors include his wife, Florence, their children, Tracey (Jerome) Levash, Debra (Donald) Kocourek, Corey (Dianne) Behnke, Connie (Joel) Koerth and Jill (Steve) Trochta, 12 grandchildren, Whitney (Chris) Meza, Carissa Levash (fiancé Cody Schultz), Monique (Donovan) Nelson, Brent Levash, Michael Kocourek, Andrew Kocourek (fiancé Cassie Wagner), Daniel Kocourek, Alex Behnke, Tyler Koerth (fiancé Bryce Shaner), Nicole Koerth, Kenzi and Brynn Trochta, 2 great grand children Beau and Blake Meza and one on the way. Jim is further survived by a sister, Karen Boettcher of Brillion, and 2 sisters-in-law, Carol (Roger) Matzke of Wrightstown and Ellen (Gary) Mirkos of Fox Point along with numerous nieces, nephews, and a lot of good friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws, Milton and Lydia (Piepenburg) Fischer, 2 infant grandchildren, Matthew Kocourek and Megan Behnke, siblings and in-laws, Orlando “Butch” (Barbara) Behnke, Orville Behnke, Anita (Elton) Stichert, Betty (Delmar) Zarnoth, Ellen (Marvyn) Boettcher, Richard Doughty, Carol (Lloyd) Beyer and Leon Boettcher.

Funeral service will be held on Monday, March 18 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church in Brillion. The Rev. Mark Krueger will officiate. Burial will be in Brillion Community Cemetery. Visitation will take place at the church on Sunday from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. and then again on Monday from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.

Online condolences may be made at


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