Donald Behnke

KEWANEE - Donald W. "Don" Behnke, 88, of Kewanee passed away at 12 noon Tuesday, April 2, 2013, at his home.

Funeral services will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee. The Rev. Ken Wegener will officiate. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the funeral home. Burial will be in Pleasant View Cemetery, with military rites accorded by the Kewanee Veterans Council, and Don's grandson, Daniel Nibeck, will be the bugler.

Memorials may be directed to Faith Lutheran Church or the Kewanee Park District.

He was born July 16, 1924, in Kewanee, the son of Henry and Anna (Milligan) Behnke. He married JoAnn Grothe on June 7, 1953, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Kewanee.

She survives, as does his son, James (Janet) Behnke of Washington, Mo.; two daughters, Susan Behnke of Libertyville, Ill., and Kathleen Nibeck of Northbrook, Ill.; and three grandchildren, Megan Behnke of St. Peters, Mo., and Daniel and Erin Nibeck of Northbrook, Ill.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Raymond and Eugene; and one sister, Margaret.

Don graduated from Kewanee High School in 1942.

He served his country in the U.S. Army during WWII from May 1943 through December 1945, mainly in the European Theater with the 260th Infantry Regiment. Don was awarded two Bronze Stars for heroic achievement, with special citation for saving the life of his commanding officer. He was also awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action in Germany on April 26, 1945.

After attending Western Illinois University, he began working in the ready mix concrete industry. In 1961, he founded Kewanee Triangle Concrete Company. He was co-owner and manager until his retirement in 1991, after 30 years in business.

Don was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, the American Legion Post 31 of Kewanee and VFW Post 8078 of Kewanee.

After retirement, Don enjoyed golfing at Baker Park, especially with the Seniors on Thursdays.

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Published in Peoria Journal Star on Apr. 4, 2013