GREENE — Ralph D. Behnke (94) passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, at First Presbyterian Church in Greene with refreshments to follow in the church fellowship hall.
Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.
Burial will take place at Rosehill Cemetery in Greene.
He was the son of Albert and Bessie (Yohn) Behnke, born Dec. 1, 1922, on the family farm in Greene, Iowa. Ralph attended Packard Country School.
On Oct. 14, 1944, he was united in marriage with Evelyn P. Ewald at the Ewald family farm in Marble Rock, Iowa. Ralph and Evelyn farmed until the late 90s where they raised their 3 children, Clayton, Michael and Marcia.
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He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Greene.
Ralph and Evelyn spent many winters in Mesa, Arizona, where they golfed and he played Rolli Bowly. He was an avid hunter of fox and deer. He was a member of the Powersville Fox Hunting Club and was still an active deer hunter at age 90. They took numerous fishing trips to Northeast Iowa, Minnesota and Canada. In 1996, he upheld a promise when grain prices reached a high and treated his whole family to a fishing trip at Pine Point Resort in Upsala, Canada. He loved to drive the country side looking at crops and wildlife. Ralph was always happy to talk about weather, crops, the “good ole days” or anything that came up in conversation, and many of his grandchildren inherited this gift to gab.
Ralph is survived by his three children, Clayton (Cora) Behnke of Gretna, Nebraska, Michael (Terri) Behnke of Greene, Marcia (Bob) Larson of Dougherty. His grandchildren Chris (April) Behnke, Pat (Katie) Behnke, and Rick (Amy) Behnke all of Omaha, Nebraska, Ryan (Joanie) Behnke of Greene and Kurt (Erin) Behnke of Cedar Falls, Jamie (Matt) Brinkman of Council Bluffs, Tony (Becky) Larson of Clear Lake, 11 great-grandchildren, 1 great-great grandchild and 6 step great-grandchildren, 2 sisters-in-law, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Evelyn, sisters Myrtle Kramer and Evelyn Holzschuh, sister-in-law Maxine Kranz.
Memorials may be directed to the family.
Services have been entrusted to Retz Funeral Home, 519 N. First St. Greene. 641-823-4457, www.retzfh.com.