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Marla Behm

1949 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Marla Behm Obituary
Marla Behm

Marla Rae Behm, 66, of Sioux Falls, formerly of Canova, SD and Bismarck, ND, passed away on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at Dow Rummel Village, Sioux Falls. Funeral services will be 10:30am, Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, rural Canova, with burial to follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be Monday with family present at Willoughby Funeral Home, Howard, SD from 5pm to 7pm. Marla Rae Behm was born on December 6, 1949 to Gilbert and Elfrieda (Jech) Behm at the Canova Hospital, Canova. Marla attended school in Canova and graduated in 1968 and went on to study at SDSU. Marla was originally a math major until her sophomore year when she enrolled in an organic chemistry course which she loved. She was hooked and went on to receive her B.S. and M.S. in Chemistry at SDSU in 1975. Marla then went on to teach at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. Marla left University of Mary to pursue a doctoral degree at Purdue University in Biochemistry from 1983 - 1988. After receiving her PhD, she returned to teaching at University of Mary. Her students and her teaching career were her true passions in life and any student majoring in biology was likely to have had Dr. Behm at some point in their college career. Dr. Behm's devotion to students was evident in her constant involvement in the university's theater productions, freshman orientation classes, scholarship committee, fundraising events and the Vocation Advisory Group. Her awards include the Best Practices in Leadership Award in 2002, the Outstanding Faculty Award in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2009, also the Student Advisor of the Year in 2010 and was bestowed as Professor Emeriti at the begin of this school year. After 40 years of teaching, Marla retired in 2015 and moved to Dow Rummel in Sioux Falls to be closer to her family and to spend more time focused on her sewing and quilting projects. Marla will be remembered for the many lives she touched and inspired. She exemplified the life of a passionate teacher for, "Great teachers stand alone in their value to society. Their influence carries on eternally." Those grateful for having shared in her life include her brother Richard Behm of Maple Lake, MN; a sister Glenda (Tom) Gassman of Canova, SD and their three children Nathan (Julie) Gassman of St. Peter, MN; Emily (Daniel) Kiely of Eden Prairie, MN and Gabe (Bethany) Gassman of Yellowstone National Park, WY; and eight great nephews and nieces Noah, Sky and Isla Gassman, Sydney, Hich, and Madeline Kiely and Aida and Bodey Gassman. Marla was preceded in death by her parents Gilbert and Elfrieda Behm and a brother Jim Behm. In Lieu of flowers, donations should be directed to the Dr. Marla Behm Endowed Scholarship or the Immanuel Lutheran Church.

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Published in The Argus Leader on Aug. 29, 2016
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