OBITUARY: Ronald (Ron) E. Behnke

Ronald (Ron) E. Behnke, age 76, of rural Brillion, passed away peacefully at home on December 26, 2020 surrounded by his family.



Ron was born on April 6, 1944 in Green Bay, only son of the late Erwin and Edna (Bleichwehl) Behnke. Ron was born, raised and still lived on the family homestead, cultivating four generations of Behnke’s. He was a graduate of Brillion High School, Class of 1962. He then attended UW-Manitowoc and UW-Madison.


Ron was employed for 46 years at the Brillion Iron Works, where he enjoyed the challenges of electrical engineering. He was an incredibly intelligent man, and often would advance his education by taking courses as he needed them throughout his career. He also would speak with anyone that was willing to learn. Ron also mentored and facilitated many internships for students over the years.


Ron married the love of his life, Sharon, on October 25, 1975 at St. John St. James Lutheran Church, Reedsville. They shared 45 wonderful years together this past October.

After his retirement, “Farmer Ron” worked at Mulberry Farms showing children of all ages his love of nature and animals. This love also led him to always take walks on their beautiful homestead, plant and cultivate trees, care for the animals that also enjoyed their land, and really appreciate God’s Glory. He volunteered at Hidden Treasures in Brillion as well. Ron loved flying and had his pilot’s license when he was a bit younger. This love also brought him to volunteer at the Manitowoc Air Show, and it was a must every year to attend the EAA!

Ron was a lifelong member of Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church in Brillion where he was very active, serving on numerous boards for both the church and the school.


He had zest for life and was always willing to try new things. Ron enjoyed traveling all over the world, playing sheepshead, and having spirited conversations with friends and family. He was always up on the latest in technology and innovation, and he would even teach the Best Buy guys things they didn’t even know! Ron fiercely loved his family, and was especially proud and often thought of his greatest accomplishment as his son, Chris.


Ron is survived by his wife Sharon of 45 years; their son and daughter-in-law: Christopher (Emily) Behnke, all of Brillion; his sisters: Eunice and Ervin Eickhoff, Howards Grove, Sylvia and Norman Immel, Fond du Lac, Elda and Russell Boettcher, Oregon, Wi.; and a sister-in-law: Sandy Zierden, Apollo Beach, FL. Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents: Erwin and Edna Behnke and his father-in-law and mother-in-law: Charles and Helen Behnke.


Funeral Services will be held at 12:00 noon on Saturday, January 2, 2021 at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, Brillion. Officiating will be the Rev. Ross Henzi and Rev. Phil Janisch. The family will greet relatives and friends at Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, Brillion, from 10:00 a.m. Saturday, January 2, 2021 until 11:45 a.m. with graveside interment in the church cemetery immediately following the service.


The family would like to extend a special thank you to Bellin Health Professionals and Cancer Team for the wonderful care extended to Ron and his family. They would also like to thank Unity Hospice for the care and comfort they brought Ron in his final days.


Online condolences may be made. The Pielhop Wieting Funeral Homes of Brillion and Reedsville is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.