Dr. Frederick Behling

Dr. Frederick L. Behling

Of Portola Valley passed away peacefully on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 following a lengthy illness. Born April 4, 1924 in Mahnomen, Minnesota, Dr. Behling is survived by his wife Bernice (Bonnie,) daughter Ann Behling Kruger of Colorado, son Frederick L. Behling III of Michigan, son William R. Behling of Massachusetts, nine grandchildren, and his sister Kathryn Behling Richardson of North Dakota. He was preceded in death by his first daughter, Barbara L. Behling of Palo Alto and brother Robert E. Behling of Minnesota.

As a youth, he declared in the eighth grade that he wanted to be a doctor and ultimately obtained his M.D. Degree from the University of Minnesota. He practiced general medicine in Northern Minnesota, served as a Captain in the Medical Corps during the Korean Conflict, completed a three year fellowship at the Mayo Foundation in Rochester, Minnesota followed by two years of orthopedic practice in Fargo, North Dakota. He met his wife, Bonnie, while he was a medical resident at the University of Colorado hospital in Denver,Colorado and they were married in 1947.

In 1958, Dr. Behling moved to Palo Alto, California to join the Palo Alto Medical Clinic where he practiced until he retired in 1992. While there, he started the clinic's Sports Medicine Department, becoming one of the preeminent orthopedic physicians in the country. Dr. Behling was a passionate supporter of Stanford Athletics and served as the on-field physician for Stanford team sports, including football and rugby, for 34 years. As the Stanford team doctor, he attended two winning trips to the Rose Bowl and in 1973 he was selected to accompany the USA American team to Russia for the World University Games. Dr. Behling also served as team physician for the San Francisco 49ers for five years, enjoying a winning trip to the 1982 Super Bowl.

Dr. Behling and Bonnie enjoyed a variety of activities together including extensive world travel, outdoor sports of fishing and skiing at their second home in Sun Valley, Idaho, and have been members of Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto since 1958, serving a variety of volunteer roles in the congregation. A memorial service for Dr. Behling will be scheduled for a future date. Memorials may be made in the name of Dr. Behling to Grace Lutheran Church, 3149 Waverly St., Palo Alto, CA 94306.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle from July 16 to July 21, 2013