PEORIA - Wilbur John "Bill" Behrends, 80, of Peoria passed away at 4:30 a.m. Monday, June 16, 2014, at his residence, surrounded by his family, on the family farm where he was born.
Wilbur was born June 3, 1934, in Limestone Township, Peoria County, the son of Edward R. and Lydia Sutter Behrends. He was united in marriage to Sandra L. Zerwekh on April 27, 1963, at Christ Lutheran Church in Peoria.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years; two children, Shawn E. (Dawn) Behrends of East Peoria and Kellie D. Brill of Arizona; five grandsons, Michael K. Smallberger, Joshua and Jacob Hittle and Jared and Gavin Hinton; one brother, Henry "Hank" (Mary Jane) Behrends of Kincaid; one sister, Margaret "Marge" (Lou) Kirkham of Germantown Hills; one sister-in-law, Michelle "Micky" Behrends of Peoria; many nieces and nephews; and many grandpuppies and kittens.
Wilbur was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Gerald "Jerry" Behrends; and one sister, Reka Endicott.
He worked for 35 years at Lauterbach Lumber Company. He also did concrete work for Mel Allen and Brian Allen. Wilbur was a farmer in the Bartonville area for more than 40 years.
He was a U.S. Army veteran and a member of the American Legion Post 979 of Bartonville. He was a 32nd degree Master Mason.
Wilbur was a member of St. John Lutheran Church. He served on the church board and was an emeritus member of the Cemetery Board.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Monday, June 23, 2014, at St. John Lutheran Church. The Rev. Michael Jones will officiate. Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon, June 22, 2014, and an hour prior to services Monday, also at the church. Davison-Fulton Bartonville Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Cremation rites will be accorded. Burial of ashes will be in St. John Lutheran Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. John Lutheran Church, General Fund or Cemetery Fund.
To view Wilbur's memorial page or leave an online condolence, please go to www.davison-fulton-bartonvillechapel.com.