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Joseph Behm Sr.

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Joseph Behm Sr. Obituary
Joseph Behm, Sr. A talented artesian, fine woodworker and gentleman farmer, died on November 5, 2012 at his home in Mill Valley, Calif. He was 93. The only son of Selma and Ernest Behm, "Joe" was born on October 1, 1919 and raised in San Francisco along with his seven sisters. He attended St. Joseph grammar school, graduated from St. James High School and studied architecture at UC Berkeley. His studies were cut short upon the death of his father, at which time Joe joined his uncles in the family business to begin what turned out to be a long career as a cabinetmaker. He married Margaret "Midge" Murphy in 1941 and began building his own family. By the time WWII intervened, he already had two children. He spent two years serving in US Navy aboard the cruiser USS Louisville. A few years after the war, Joe moved his small but growing family into their new home in Mill Valley, designed and built by his own hands. It was there that he and his wife raised their eight children and resided for 65 years. Joe had been a proud member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 22, for over 70 years. Until his retirement, he worked at the UC Medical Center in San Francisco as the manager of Grounds and Buildings where he supervised a team of carpenters and cabinetmakers - all while expressing his own artistic talent by designing and building furniture and cabinets. His many avocations included cultivating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and raising chickens and rabbits - for his own enjoyment and for the benefit of his ever-expanding family. In his later years, he and his wife traveled extensively around the Pacific Northwest in their house trailer. Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Midge, and daughter, Peggy Lou Behm, of Canyon Lake, TX. He is survived by two sons: Joseph Behm, Jr. (Melodie) of Larkspur, Calif., Ernie Behm (Marsha) of Mckinleyville, Calif.; five daughters, Diane Horvath (Jeff) of Paharump, Nev.; Jeanette Edgren (Rick) of Orlando, Fla.; Arlene Biancalana (Mike) of Petaluma, Calif.; Virginia Behm of San Rafael, Calif.; Phyllis Reinhard (Robert) of Novato, Calif.; 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, plus over 100 nieces and nephews. The family held a private service and asks that donations be made in Joe's name to Hospice by the Bay, 17 East Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Larkspur, CA 94939.
Published in Marin Independent Journal on Nov. 27, 2012
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