Jane Hendee McMullen Behlke
1925 - 2013
Cremation Society of Alaska - Anchorage
1306 E 74th Avenue
Anchorage, AK
Jane Hendee McMullen Behlke, 87, passed away Oct. 1, 2013, at the Alaska Pioneers' Home in Anchorage. A celebration of her life will occur from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at the Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge.  
She was born Nov. 29, 1925, in Seward to Paul Clarence and Luella (Kelsey) McMullen. Jane's childhood in Seward and Cooper Landing fostered an independent, adventurous spirit, a love of learning, and a wonderful sense of humor. She enjoyed entertaining all listeners with stories of her childhood in Alaska. 
After her father's death in 1938, her mother was kept busy running a grocery store and raising two young children. As a result, Jane spent her summers in Cooper Landing. Those summers were an important aspect of a childhood she considered idyllic. In 1940, she convinced her mother to purchase a family property at Cooper Landing.
The coming of World War II meant Jane graduated from high school in Oregon. She then received a bachelor's degree from Whitman College and a master's in chemistry from the University of Michigan. After college, she returned to teach elementary school in Seward for three years before becoming registrar at the University of Alaska. It was there, in Fairbanks, that she met and married Charles Behlke in 1953.
Education and jobs took Chuck and Jane away from Alaska to spend time in California, Oregon and the Netherlands. In 1965, they settled in Fairbanks where Chuck was professor and then dean at the University of Alaska School of Engineering. Jane soon returned to the classroom, teaching fifth grade for decades and was named Fairbanks Teacher of the Year in 1978. Later, her dramatic flare made her popular as the science resource teacher for all Fairbanks elementary schools. 
After retiring in 1987, Jane, with her son and husband, built a remote cabin along Chena River headwaters. She also served as chair of the Alaska Public Offices Commission. Chuck and Jane then built a log home at the Kenai Lake property she held for more than 70 years.
Jane's volunteer activities included Fairbanks Community Food Bank, University of Alaska Museum of the North and the lively Cooper Landing Sexy Senior Dumpster Cleaners.
Jane is preceded in death by her husband, Charles Edward Behlke; her parents, her stepfather, Raymond James; and brother, Paul K. McMullen.
She is survived by her children, Susan Foley (Richard), Carol Fox (Jerry), and James Behlke (Liz), and grandchildren, Matthew and Chad Foley, Dylan and Kelsey Fox, and Aurora Behlke.
Remembrances may be sent c/o 4400 E. 135th Ave., Anchorage, Alaska 99516.  Memorial donations to benefit the elderly and hungry may be made to the Jane Behlke Fund, the Alaska Community Foundation, 3201 C St., No. 110 and No. 8232, Anchorage, AK 99503.
Arrangements entrusted to the Cremation Society of Alaska. Words of comfort can be shared at www.alaskacremation.com
Published by Daily News-Miner on Nov. 8, 2013.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Funeral services provided by:
Cremation Society of Alaska - Anchorage
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

4 Entries
I was in Mrs. Behlke's 5th grade class in 1983-1984. She was, and still remains my favorite teacher. So sorry to hear of her passing.
May she rest in peace,
November 15, 2013
Dear ones of Jane,
It is a sad day for Fairbanks with the passing of Jane. She was a professional colleague and friend. We worked together when she was science resource for the district with offices in the old FE bldg. She also was a Delta Kappa Gamma sister. She was my Parliamentarian when I was State President. She was very intelligent and capable yet warmhearted and kind. She was very interesting to talk with and she had a wonderful sense of humor. I miss her.
Geri Benshoof
November 13, 2013
Dear Susan, Carol and Jim,
Thanks for getting in touch with us shortly after your Mother's passing. We had great admiration for both your Mother and Dad. They will go down in Alaska history as two of the greatet citizens we ever had. You can be so proud of the legacy they left for you, your families, and all of her many friends. With love and good wishes fom Dick and Jo Scott in Mnhattan, NY
November 9, 2013
Sue, Carol and Jim, I am sorry to hear of your Moms passing. She was a great lady and I always enjoyed my conversations with her. She had very broad interests and passed that along to not just family but students and friends as well. Great lady
Charlie Rex
November 8, 2013
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 results