Arnold 'Arnie' Behrens, 103 years of age, of Beatrice, passed away at the Beatrice Good Samaritan Center Monday morning, July 30, 2018. He was born on February 13, 1915, on a farm near Adams, Nebraska, to Ekke and Clara (Mahler) Behrens. One of eight children, Arnie helped on the family farm when they still used horses and mules to till the land and harvest their crops.
A veteran of the Second World War, he joined the army and served in Europe until the war ended. Arnie returned to Gage County following the war, married Grace Maxine Nettleton on February 10, 1946, and helped raise two sons and two daughters, all of whom graduated from Beatrice High School. He and his brother owned and operated a successful business, Behrens Construction Company which built many on the dams and terraces on farms throughout Gage county and southeast Nebraska to preserve the land and watersheds with the Federal program known as the Soil Conservation Service. Their company also provided road improvements to southeast Nebraska by building numerous sites for production on sand, gravel, rock and asphalt to cover the roads.
In the late 1940s he learned to fly and owned a variety of airplanes over the years kept at the Beatrice Municipal Airport, where he was an active member of The Flying Conestogas flying club. Arnie also enjoyed owning and driving many antique and classic cars, joining three different car clubs and has driven to events and in parades all over eastern Nebraska and northern Kansas. He and members of his family have driven in the Homestead Days Parade for many years.
While he and his sons enjoyed cars and motorcycles, his daughters loved horses, so Arnie and his daughters became active in the county 4-H Horse Club in the late 1960s and owned, rode, and raced horses until into his 80s and still enjoyed supporting riders of all ages in the club.
Arnie was active in St. John's Lutheran Church since the 1940s and assisted in building and supporting the church ever since. He was still volunteering to usher at funerals to help comfort and assist the families of many lifelong friends into his mid 90s.
Arnie helped people and projects over the years too numerous to mention here. He loved to visit with people, friend or stranger and enjoyed sharing coffee or a meal with his many friends at the Senior Center and many local restaurants and businesses.
Survivors include his children Ron Behrens and wife Orlene of Beatrice, Rick Behrens and wife Kim of Lincoln, and Pam Moslander and husband Doug of Lincoln; ten grandchildren Jeff Behrens and wife Kim, Tim Good, Pat Good, Elicia Behrens, Brandon Behrens and wife Kristi, Eric Behrens and wife Aaron, Sarah Bray and husband Brandon, Gina Heithold and husband Brady, Shayna Morton and husband Tyler, and Austin Moslander; 11 great grandchildren; sister in law Nina Maxine Behrens; brother in law Lloyd Ruemelin; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Arnie was preceded in death by his parents; wife Maxine; daughter Peg Good and her infant son Michael; 7 brothers and sisters; and special friend Maxine Farrell.
Funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, August 3, 2018, at the St. John Lutheran Church with Pastor Leah Lawson officiating. Interment in the Evergreen Home Cemetery with military honors provided by Bitting-Norman Post #27, American Legion. The body will lie in state Thursday from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. at the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice with the family greeting friends from 5:30-7, and at the church one hour preceding the service on Friday. A family prayer service will be held at 12:45 p.m. Friday at the church. IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, a memorial has been established to the family's choice with the funeral home in charge. Sign Arnie's online guest book and view his video tribute when completed at www.ghchapel.com.
These services have been entrusted to the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice.