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.
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.