Cover photo for Robert "Bob" Paul Behnke Sr.'s Obituary
Robert "Bob" Paul Behnke Sr. Profile Photo

Robert "Bob" Paul Behnke Sr.

August 9, 1935 — June 20, 2024

Battle Creek

Robert "Bob" Paul Behnke Sr.


Robert (Bob) Paul Behnke, Sr., 88, a lifelong Battle Creek resident, died peacefully at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital on June 20, 2024. Bob was born August 9, 1935, in Battle Creek, Michigan to Franklin F. and Nancy Larene (King) Behnke. He attended Verona Elementary, graduating from Battle Creek Central High School in 1953. After high school, he honorably served two years in the U.S. Army. While in the Army, Bob was stationed in Berlin, Germany during the building of the Berlin Wall. It was at this time he learned the art of digging ‘foxholes’. Many, many foxholes. He began his employment with Behnke Trucking Inc. as a truck driver in March of 1954 and retired as a truck driver in 1988 with Teamsters Local 34. Following retirement, he began work in the company office for a number of years. Bob was formerly married to the late Hilda Criswell. Surviving are two sons, Robert P. (Sarah) Behnke, Jr. of Battle Creek, MI, David S. Behnke of Kansas City, MO; eight grandchildren, Erin (Eliot) Ure, Phillip Owen, Ashley (Tony) Gancer, Zachary (Victoria) Behnke, Nathan (Amber) Behnke, Tyler Behnke, Caliee Behnke, Sara Behnke; ten great-grandchildren; a brother, Karl Behnke of Marshall, MI and several cousins, nieces, nephews and their families. Bob is preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Frederick Behnke. Bob was a proud member of Teamster Local 34. In his younger years, he enjoyed building cars and racing with his brothers and friends. He continued his love of racing as a NASCAR fan. He was a proud Harley Davidson owner and a snowmobile enthusiast. He was also known as a huge University of Michigan fan. Bob also took great enjoyment in following the Behnke/Bud City League baseball teams for many years. He will be remembered as a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and a good friend to all who knew him.

At the request of the family, a private service was held at Fort Custer National Cemetery on Thursday, June 27, 2024, with full honors by the Fort Custer Honor Guard and the U.S. Army Honor Guard.

Memorial contributions may be made to the “VA Medical Center” for the Recreation Fund, B.C. VA Medical Center, Community & Volunteer Service (135), 5500 Armstrong Road, Battle Creek, MI 49037. 

Arrangements are by Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed at


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