Obituary: Mildred C. “Millie” Behnke

Mildred C. “Millie” Behnke, age 94, a resident of Brillion, passed away Friday evening, February 25, 2022 at Brillion West Haven.


Millie was born on December 20, 1927 in Batavia, WI, daughter of the late Leonard and Florence (Schemmel) Laux. She was baptized into a life of faith on April 1, 1928. She was a graduate of Plymouth High School with the class of 1945. On September 11, 1948 she married Earl R. Behnke in Batavia, WI. He preceded her in death on March 15, 2001. After high school, Millie worked for Cutler Hammer in Milwaukee and later for Lakeshire Cheese in Plymouth.

In her later years she was an aide at Brillion Elementary school. Millie and Earl farmed on the family farm south of Brillon until they started and operated Behnke Oil Co. for 20 years. In partnership with Gene and Lois Olm, they built Deer Run Golf Course on the family farm in Brillion and operated it from 1962-1968. She was a member of St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church in Brillion and served with the Ladies Aid and Alter Guild.

Millie was also a charter member of the Women’s Club and a member of the Red Hat Society. She was instrumental in bringing the AFS exchange program to Brillion. She enjoyed playing and teaching others how to play Bridge, sewing, baking and gardening. Millie always had a knitting or needle point project going, resulting in many wonderful gifts for others. Her smile could always brighten a room. Her greatest joy in life was her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Survivors include her children: Kathy (Ray) Bauer of Mountain Home, AR, Bob (Sue) Behnke of Brillion, Deb (Chuck) Burich of Brillion, Steve (Brenda) Behnke of Springfield, MO; eight grandchildren: Andy (Melanie) Bauer, Lindsey Bauer, Corey (Abbey) Behnke, Brian (Marie) Behnke, Eric (Danielle) Burich, Kyla (Kurt) Stefan, Brittney Behnke and Ashley (Mark) McNerney; 13 great grandchildren; AFS student: Ann Norris-Young; and special cousin: Kathy Jensen. Nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends also survive.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; three brothers: Ralph (Lois) Laux, Vernon (Carol) Laux, Harold (Olive) Laux; her father-in-law and mother-in-law: Fred and Helen (Glasow) Behnke; three sisters-in-law: Gladyce (John) Zutz, Delores (Armin) Schwalenberg and Myrna (Melvin) Koch.

Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 AM at St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church of Brillion on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Officiating at the service will be the Rev. Mark Krueger with burial to follow at Brillion Community Cemetery.

Friends may call at church on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 from 9:00 AM until 10:45 AM. The service will also be live streamed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2W5QvJQGd6Xo1gY0

The family would like to thank the staff at Brillion West Haven for the compassionate care given our mother. In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to the Earl and Mildred Behnke Youth Fund for St. Bartholomew Lutheran Church in the Brillion Area Family of Funds. Online condolences can be made at www.pielhopwieting.com. The Pielhop Wieting Funeral Homes of Brillion & Reedsville assisted the family with funeral arrangements.

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