Donald W. Behnken - Rochester

ROCHESTER — Donald W. Behnken died peacefully Saturday morning (Dec. 18, 2010) at Golden Living Center East in Rochester. He was 86 years old.

The funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday (Dec. 22) at Trinity Lutheran Church in Elgin, with the Rev. Greg Heidorn officiating. Burial will be in Elgin Cemetery. Friends may call from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Schad & Zabel Funeral Home in Plainview, and one hour prior to the service Wednesday at the church.

Donald was born Jan. 15, 1924, in Haverhill Township, Olmsted County. He attended Haverhill school and Elgin parochial school, living with Pastor Affeldt in Elgin for a time while taking confirmation instruction. He began farming in Haverhill Township at age 17.

On June 25, 1946, he married Lucille Kruger at Trinity Lutheran Church in Elgin. They continued to farm and raised three children. Lucille passed away on June 21, 2010.

Donald was a successful farmer, an avid hunter and fisherman, a talented musician, and a magical storyteller.

He is survived by one son, Duane (Shirley) Behnken of Elgin; two daughters, Charlotte (Perry) Engstrom of West Chester, Ohio, and Sharon (Jim) Molde of Bemidji, Minn.; six grandchildren, Christy (Jim) Ryan, Corey (Sarah) Engstrom, Stephen and Sarah Molde, Amy and Amber Behnken; five great-grandchildren, Kylie and Alexis Ryan, and Jacob, Brenden and Kaydence Molde; and one brother, Ivan (Sonja) Behnken of Rochester.

He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents, L. Henry and Ella (Schroeder) Behnken; and three brothers, Ellsworth, Marvin and Marlow.

Memorials are preferred to the Elgin Trinity Lutheran Church Youth Group, Grace Lutheran Church in Rochester, Rochester Central Lutheran School (RCLS), or Seasons Hospice.

Schad & Zabel Funeral Home of Plainview is in charge of arrangements. (507) 534-2003