Barbara “Barb” Behnke, of Cassopolis

Barbara “Barb” Behnke, of Cassopolis, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, at her home.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 at the Dowagiac Moose Lodge 54867 M-51 N., Dowagiac. Burial will take place at Riverside Cemetery at a later date. In Lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Fernwood, Caring Circle Hospice or Wabigon Garden. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at clarkch.com.

Barb was born to James and Dorothy (Harden) Firestone in Loraine, Ohio. She graduated from Dowagiac Central High School in 1961. On Jan. 20, 1961, she married her high school sweet heart and the love of her life, Ronald “Ron” Behnke in Dowagiac.

Barbara “Barb” Behnke

Gardening was her passion, she attended classes at Michigan State in her adult life where she earned certifications in advanced gardening. Barb became an advanced master gardener, she was a member of the Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Center in Buchanan, the Wabigon Garden Club and the Herb Society.

She worked for Dowagiac school’s transportation as a bus driver for 10 years before becoming the Transportation Supervisor in 1977, she held that position for 25 years before retirement. Barb was also part of the Michigan Association Pupil Transportation and the president of the Tri-County transportation. In Barb’s spare time, she enjoyed reading, which led her to be part of a book club and discussion club. She loved going antiquing and enjoyed collecting flow blue dishes. Most of all Barb loved her family and will always be known as the best pizza maker.

Barb is survived by her loving husband, Ron Behnke; children John (Tina) Behnke, Judy (Jeff) Johnson and Jamey Behnke; grandchildren Matt (Kelly) Behnke, Nate (Lauren) Behnke, Kyle (Johanna) Johnson, Valerie (Erik) Tapia, James (Ronnie) Behnke and Sonny (Chelsey) Behnke; great-grandchildren Xander Behnke and Lucas Behnke; brother Bill (Elane) Firestone her loving cat Tidders and dog Fred and many extended loving family and friends. Barb was preceded in death by her parents.

Barb’s family would like to give a special thanks to Hospice and all of her friends and family who helped take care of her.

Buchanan

Buchanan commission approves two beautification projects

Buchanan

Buchanan commission votes ‘no’ on ducks, reconsiders future with Niles chamber

Local Government

Niles City Council approves Riverfest, fireworks

Business

Open air market coming to The NODE beginning in July

Business

Ice cream shop opens on M-62 in Edwardsburg

Giving

Niles Burn Run returns this month for 20th ride

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 892,469 cases, 19,548 deaths

Dowagiac

SMC Board of Trustees adopts 2021-22 budgets

Berrien County

South Bend man gets prison for robbery of Niles business

Dowagiac

PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac Elks celebrate Flag Day

Edwardsburg

Motorcyclist injured in Edwardsburg crash

News

PHOTO STORY: Niles Summer Concert Series kicks off with Bob Seger tribute band

News

Niles Police Log: June 2-9

Buchanan

PHOTO STORY: Buchanan High School graduates Class of 2021

News

Hit-and-run injures Niles woman

News

Niles natives collaborate on song

Dowagiac

Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac visit Dowagiac Rotary

Cass County

Two sentenced on meth charges in Cass County Court

Edwardsburg

Drugs found in Ontwa Township residence

Dowagiac

Annual Sister Lakes wakeboard tournament to return in August

Cass County

Homeless man gets jail time for stealing vehicle in Dowagiac

Berrien County

Illinois man dead, Benton Harbor teen arrested after two vehicle Oronoko Township crash Monday

Dowagiac

Long-lost friends, Navy veterans reunite after 58 years

Berrien County

Honor Credit Union announces Tracy Sanders as VP of operations