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Richard Behrends

July 7, 1930 ~ August 4, 2021 (age 91)


On Wednesday, August 4, 2021, Richard Behrends, loving husband and father of four children, passed away after a short illness at the age of 91. He died peacefully at home surrounded by family. 

Richard was born on July 7, 1930, on the family farm near Hersman, IL to James and Adeline Behrends. He graduated from Mt. Sterling High School and attended Western Illinois University. He worked as a career University of Illinois painter and served as shop steward until his retirement. His passion was waterfowl hunting and he served as the past president of the Illinois Duck and Goose Hunters Alliance for many years. For over 25 years he was also a vocal advocate of wetland conservation on a local, state and national level. Family boating was another valued pastime. He assisted in the building and rehab of his family’s homes and was involved in countless church projects and charitable organizations over the decades.  The famous basketball coach John Wooden was quoted to have said: “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” By that standard he lived hundreds of perfect days. 

On May 27, 1951, he married Janis Zipse of Mt. Sterling, IL. They raised two daughters and two sons. They were married until her passing in 2017. 

Richard was preceded in death by his wife, parents and brother Robert. He is survived by daughter Anita Behrends (Dan) Craig of Lake Saint Louis, MO, son Steven Behrends (Charlene) of Naperville, IL, daughter Sue Behrends (Gary) Knapp of Omaha, NE and son Paul Behrends (Noreen) of Foosland, IL, and a sister Mary Behrends Fry of Hersman, IL. Grandsons Austin Craig (Lindsay), Tyler Knapp (Leah), Granddaughters Whitney Craig, Ashley Behrends (Matt) Landek, and Emma Knapp.  Great grandchildren: Carter Craig, Reagan and Morgan Landek, and Mila Knapp.  

A memorial visitation will be held prior to the funeral on Tuesday, August10, 2021, from 12:00-2:00 PM with the funeral at 2:00 PM. Services will be held at Morgan Memorial Funeral Home at 1304 Regency Drive, Savoy, IL.

A private Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at 11:30 AM at the Hersman, IL Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to: Empty Tomb, Inc., PO Box 2404 Champaign, IL 61825-2404 or a charity of your choice. 

For more information, please call (217) 356-5858 or visit

The Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt.Sterling is assisting the family with the local arrangements.


To send flowers to Richard's family, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
August 11, 2021

11:30 AM
Hersman Cemetery
Route 99 South
Hersman, Illinois 62353

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