SANDUSKY - Harold Arthur Behnken, 96, died November 25 in hospice care in Sandusky, OH.
He was born in 1924 and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Harold recounted memories of a time when he and his friends could hitchhike to an ocean beach from Brooklyn. People with cars would pick the boys up and take them the rest of the way. He was in Boy Scouts, too, and enjoyed camping and the outdoors.
He started college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1941 and joined the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps at the same time. In his sophomore year he was commissioned as an Ensign and sent to radar school at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He was sent then to Norfolk Navy Base for further training and ended up on a destroyer in the Pacific Fleet. He was in the battle of Iwo Jima and the final battle against the Japanese in the Pacific, narrowly escaping death.
Returning to college after the war Harold studied Electrical Engineering, graduating in 1947. He married Priscilla “Boots” Behnken in 1949, telling the family, “that was the best day of his life.” They celebrated 60 years of marriage when she passed away in 2009, followed three years later by the death of daughter Nancy Meyers. Son Frederick Behnken (Vikki) lives in Albuquerque, NM.
Harold spent his career with General Motors, living in New Jersey, Illinois and ending in Sandusky, OH, where he was plant manager. He was always an active volunteer for his college, First Presbyterian Church in Huron, Highlands Presbyterian Church in La Grange, IL, and many other organizations. He received an award for philanthropy in 2018 from Parkvue Community in Sandusky, a symbol of the many gifts he and his wife gave over the years to religious, educational, environmental and health charities.
Graveside services will be held Wednesday, Dec. 2nd at 11 a.m. at Scott Cemetery, Huron Avery Rd, Huron with Pastor Sara Hodsden of the First Presbyterian Church, Huron, officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 225 Williams Street, Huron, 44839.
Online condolences may be shared at www.fosterfh.com.
Foster Funeral Home & Crematory, Huron is in charge of arrangements.
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