Obituary: John A. R. Behnke

John A. R. Behnke, age 79, of De Pere, formerly of Brillion, passed away on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at Unity Hospice surrounded by his family.


John was born on July 25, 1942, son of the late John and Gladys (Greve) Behnke. He was a graduate of Brillion High School, class of 1960. John met the love of his life Nancy Koffarnus in high school, and they were married on September 27, 1964 at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church in Brillion. The couple celebrated 57 years of marriage. John worked for many years for his dad and his uncle at their saw mill in Manitowoc until it closed. He even went to Lumber Grading School in Tennessee to master what needed to be done from start to finish at the mill. When the mill closed, John then went to drive truck for US Oil, until his retirement in 2007. John and Nancy spent their lives together, dancing, bowling, taking car rides, and even living a dream come true with a retirement home on a lake. There he could relax, swim, and be with his family. John was also very active in Brillion as a member of the Brillion Fire Department for 25 years and was a member of the Brillion Conservation Club.

John is survived by his loving wife, Nancy of De Pere; their children and spouses: Becky (Patrick) Wrenn, John (Shelli) Behnke all of De Pere, and Rachel (Mike) Riemer of Hilbert; grandchildren: Christopher (Kari) Wrenn, Cameron (Ally) Wrenn, Caitlin, Caleb, Colin, and Chloe Wrenn, Megan and Ashley Behnke, Austin (Priscilla) Riemer, Joshua, Andrew, Brooklyn, and Jacob Riemer; great-grandchildren: Lucy and Liam Wrenn and Winter and Finnick Riemer; one brother and sister-in-law: Robert “Bob” and Barbara Behnke of Brillion; other in-laws: Gary (Ruby) Koffarnus of OR, Bonnie (Philip) Mathies of Ishpeming, MI, Diane (Tim) Rulseh of Appleton, Cheryl (Jack) Duszynski) of CA, and Scott (Cheri) Koffarnus of Green Bay; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his father-in-law and mother-in-law: Roman and Nina Koffarnus; great-granddaughter, Izzy Riemer; sister: Barbara Behnke, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law: Steve (Kathy) Koffarnus.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at Pielhop Wieting Funeral Home, 215 S. Main St. in Brillion. Officiating will be Rev. Joe Weiers. Friends may call at the funeral home on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Online condolences may be made. The family would like to thank the Bellin Health Team, Unity Hospice, Pastor Joe Weiers, and all of their family and friends that offered support and love. The Pielhop Wieting Funeral Homes of Brillion & Reedsville is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.

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