BENKELMAN -- Bobbie LeRoy Behlke Sr., 70, died Wednesday (May 23, 2007), at Dundy County Hospital, losing a nine-month battle with cancer.
He was born Dec. 9, 1936, in Cheyenne County, Kan., to Leonard and Ethel (Langdale) Behlke. He attended school in Benkelman until his freshman year then left to help support his family. As a young man, he worked many jobs, helping his father with the garbage business, then worked on the construction of the Trenton Dam, and also the brick laying of the Hester Home in Benkelman.
On March 23, 1956, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served his country for six years before receiving his honorable discharge in 1962.
On Sept. 20, 1959 he married Donna Anderson at the Methodist Church in Parks. He was named "Father of the Year" in the 1970's.
He worked as a lineman for the City of Benkelman, then as a custodian for the Morehouse Hospital, and the Dundy County Hospital for 18 years. He also farmed for a short time before working as a custodian for the Dundy County School System for 25 years. He retired in May of 2006.
He was a 43-year member of the Benkelman Volunteer Fire Department and was one of the first ambulance drivers in Benkelman. He drove for 30 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Ethel Behlke; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Don and Lola Anderson; and brothers-in-law, Chuck DeAragon and Duaine Todd.
Survivors include his wife, Donna Behlke of Benkelman; daughters, Dianna Rosenfelt and husband, Mark also of Benkelman, Crystal Nozicka and husband, Thomas of Walden, Colo., and Angela Hansen and husband, Monte of Benkelman; son, Bobbie Behlke, Jr., and wife, Lynette of Benkleman; brother Billie Behlke and wife, Pat of Palmer, Alaska; sisters, Donna DeAragon of Denver, Colo., Bonnie Todd of Benkelman and Delores Flemister and husband, Bernie of Yuma, Colo.; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Marian Ellis and husband, Bob of Benkelman, Vonda Knackstedt and husband, Elwin of Greeley, Colo., and Susan Lutz and husband, Marty of Benkelman: 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were Tuesday at the United Methodist Church in Benkelman with the Rev. Brian Fong officiating. Services concluded at the church with military honors. A private inurnment will take place at a later time.
There will be no visitation or viewing. Memorials may be given in his name.
Arrangements are under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Benkelman.