William L. Behrends Sr., 56, a resident of Bettendorf and loving husband, son, father, grandfather and friend to many died in his home Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011 following a sudden illness.
Funeral services and a Mass of Christian Burial for Bill will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 1506 Brown Street, Bettendorf with Fr. Tim Sheedy officiating and assisted by Bill’s longtime friend Deacon Dennis Duff. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Friday from 4-7 p.m. at the Halligan McCabe DeVries, 614 Main St., downtown Davenport. All are invited to join the family for a prayer service at 4 p.m. to begin the visitation. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Smith Island Nature Trail at Lock & Dam 14 Recreation Area.
Bill was born on Oct. 25, 1954 in Key West, Fla. to Betty and Dick Behrends. He spent many years of his youth collecting stories of life on the farm that he would later share with his boys, JR, Tony and Adam. The family lived in rural Kansas, Iowa, and later returned to the Quad Cities, where he met his lifelong love Teri Roth.
Bill and Teri were united in marriage on June 21, 1975, and there began a lifetime of love, nurturing and building a strong marriage and an even stronger friendship. Bill loved Teri with all of his heart and would openly refer to Teri as his wife, best friend, and the most important person in the world to him. Teri was the greatest love of Bill’s life.
Bill and Teri have three sons – William Coghill-Behrends (JR), Tony Behrends, and Adam Behrends, commonly referred to as the “Behrends Boys”. Bill was an incredibly devoted father, and whether it was from an audience seat at one of JR’s BHS theatrical productions, the stands at one of Tony’s swim meets, or from the bleachers at one of Adam’s football games, Bill was always there cheering, smiling, and encouraging. These were his proudest moments, and the moments that will forever live on in our memories of him.
Bill’s enthusiasm for his grandchildren was always visible. “Grandpa Shorty,” as some of the grandchildren called him, was a constant source of love, wit, and goodies. He enjoyed spoiling the grandchildren, as he put it, to help pay his boys back for the joys they brought him during their teenage years. Grandpa Shorty’s passing leaves a void in the hearts of his grandchildren, Abby, Marlee, Hannah, Damond, and Quincy.
Bill took great joy in doing good work. He had a creative and entrepreneurial spirit. This drive led him to establish his own business, no small feat considering he did this during the recession of the early eighties. Bill’s clients included several prominent Quad Cities area jewelers where he did custom and restorative jewelry work. Many members of the family, indeed many residents of the Quad Cities, wear rings, necklaces, and earrings that Bill created. In many ways, his legacy lives on through the beautiful pieces he created. In more recent years he’s worked for James Revell at Revell’s Jewelry, perhaps his most fulfilling job ever. He so enjoyed his time at Revell’s and especially enjoyed the talents, wit, and occasional jab from his very close friend James Revell. Bill also enjoyed the break from the jewelry bench that his time at Huckfeldt and Smith brought. Bill was a talented and gifted businessman.
Bill enjoyed spending time with his family – during their early years, the Behrends’ family spent many a summer camping, fishing, and canoeing. Bill was an active and involved husband and father. He pushed us all to be better, to try harder, and to be good people. He enjoyed getting into political debates, discussions of finance, and of finding creative ways to solve problems – whether it was fixing a broken tent pole, or finding a good investment. He was an active listener and always offered a differing perspective. He will be remembered as a compassionate human, a giving soul. He will be missed greatly, but will continue to live on in our memories, in our hearts, and in the many smiles he brought us all.
Bill is survived by his wife of 35 years, Teri Behrends, his sons, JR (Andy) Coghill-Behrends of Iowa City, Tony (Kelli) Behrends, of Bettendorf, Adam Behrends, of Brandenton, Florida. He leaves behind the woman he called his greatest hero, his mom, Betty Fahy, and the person he called, dad, Ivan Fahy. He is survived by his siblings, Pam Wilson and Steven Behrends, of Scottsdale, Arizona. His grandchildren, Hannah, Damond, Quincy, Abby, and Marlee will forever miss him. Those left to honor his memory also include his mother in-law, Dona Roth, of Davenport, Teri’s brothers and sisters and their spouses, Andy Roth, Scott (Ann) Roth, Mark Roth, Todd Roth, Tracy (Don) Hains, Kelly Jimenez and Mary Kay (John) Holmberg; his close friend Bob Simpson, and many, many more family members and friends who cherish the memories they have of Bill. Bill was preceeded in death by his father in-law, Andy Roth, who Bill adored, and his long-time faithful companion, his dog Fred.
Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed by visiting Bill’s obituary at www.hmdfuneralhome.com.