John W. Behrens

John W. Behrens

May 2, 1948 – May 27, 2020

John W. Behrens died peacefully on May 27, 2020.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Rudolph Behrens and Josephine Bradbury; son, Michael R. Behrens. Survived by his wife, Kristine K. Behrens; daughter, Jennifer L. Baskett (Jason); son, Jeffrey S. Behrens (Caitlin); daughter-in-law, Julie Behrens; brother, Ralph W. Behrens (Beverly) grandchildren: Halley Baskett and Brian, Elijah and Everett Behrens.

John graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1970 and received a Master’s degree in Transportation from Northwestern University in 1974.  He worked for the Chicago Area Transportation Study before moving in 1977 to Omaha, where he worked for Union Pacific Railroad and ConAgra Foods.  John would later move to the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Kris, working for Lamb Weston through the end of his career and retiring in 2011.  John and Kris moved back to Omaha to enjoy closer proximity to old friends and their grandchildren, allowing them frequently to travel for family visits.  Transportation photography, choir and church activities, travel and hiking, and Chicago sports teams (GO CUBS!) were some of his favorite pastimes, but family and friends were foremost. John cherished the time spent with dear friends, coworkers, and his beloved family.  While we mourn his loss, we celebrate the life he lived.

PRIVATE SERVICES: Tuesday, June 2nd at 2pm at the West Center Chapel. To view a live broadcast of the service, please go to and click the “view live-cast” button or click on service link below. Memorials are suggested to Heartland Hope Mission, 2021 “U” St., Omaha 68104; or to Presbyterian Church of the Cross in Omaha.

Funeral Service Link:




  • Michael Lesniak & family Posted May 29, 2020 9:59 am

    Kris and family – We’re so sorry to hear of John’s passing. A kind and gentle soul who always had a good word for everyone he knew. His loss is saddening, but it’s also a time to remember just what a good man he was. He will be missed. Our deepest sympathies go out to you , Jeffrey and Jenn and the rest of the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Dell Fischer Posted May 30, 2020 2:16 pm

    Dear Kris and Family: So Very Sorry to learn of John’s passing. As a former Union Pacific Co-Worker, a Customer and a Friend, John was always a very pleasant, positive and forward looking person whom I know loved adventures and was a fun loving and honorable Family man. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Losing our Loved Ones is never easy and you have our Deepest Sympathy during this most difficult time. May He Rest In Peace! Our Very Best, Dell & Marlene Fischer, Walla Walla, Wa.

  • Tom & Linda Peluso Posted May 31, 2020 1:58 pm

    Dear Kris, we have so many wonderful memories of you and John from the 50+ years we’ve known each other. John was a fun, caring and kind friend who enjoyed sharing his zest for life with us. (We would never have seen so many trains otherwise!) He shared his wide ranging interests with so many people, but you and your family were always the center of his life. Please accept our deepest sympathy and know that he will be deeply missed by us and many others. You and yours are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Robert Sewell Posted May 31, 2020 6:33 pm

    A true warrior I will forever value our friendship and my condolences to Kris and family
    I am still having a time during this most difficult time for all that knew John
    RIH my brother

  • DUANE E KLOTZ Posted May 31, 2020 9:57 pm

    A joyful gentilmen. Enjoyed The time with him at bible study. I have missed him greatly since he left the Tri-Cities

  • Gary Bradshaw Posted June 1, 2020 3:21 pm

    Dear Kris, Jennie and Jeff. Becky and I were saddened to hear of John’s Passing. He was a great person and friend. His positive attitude always personally gave me comfort. We will miss him!
    God’ blessings on you all. Gary & Becky Bradshaw

  • Jon Erbes Posted June 1, 2020 3:58 pm

    Dear Kris and family, I was saddened to receive the news of John’s passing. We just shared an email recently about retirement plans and a fond memory of his humorous idea of how he would spend his days after working. But after reading your Christmas updates and all the things you accomplished over the years, I know he spent his time well. He was a great boss and true inspiration. Our prayers are with you all.

  • Beth Grassi Posted June 2, 2020 1:02 pm

    Dear Kris and family, John was such a joyful person, what I remember most is his smile and laugh. It was so wonderful that John and Kris were able to join us to celebrate our wedding in Fairbanks, it meant a lot to us that you were willing to travel so far to celebrate. It made a happy occasion that much happier by having you there. Ever since I was little, John showed what true friendship meant. Our hearts and prayers are with you.

  • Jeanne Scott and Ted Posted June 2, 2020 1:45 pm

    As I watch the service. with ted, my heart goes out to you and your family the loss of a husband is so great a fear. You are in our prayers and thoughts dear Chris.

  • Jim Blaze Posted June 2, 2020 1:46 pm

    Oh my.

    John was always so full of life, laughs, and giving.

    I am stunned at his departure.

    His long ago CATS buddy and forever friend, Jim

    I am so sorry for your loss Kris — and your families loss.
    But, what great memories John left us.

    Respectfully, Jim and Toni Blaze

  • Steve and Amy Rodie Posted June 2, 2020 1:46 pm

    Appreciated being able to attend the service. It’s true, John was a friend of everyone and loved to learn and serve. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.

  • Arlin and Sue Kiel Posted June 2, 2020 1:51 pm

    We were so sorry to hear of John’s passing. Our prayers go out for you, Kris, and the whole family. John will be greatly missed by all. It was a very meaningful service. God be with you all.

  • Beth Grassi Posted June 2, 2020 2:12 pm

    Dear Kris and family, John was a joyful person, and what I remember most going back to when I was small is his smile and laugh. He had a gift for making the people around him feel happy. We are so thankful Kris and John came to Fairbanks to celebrate our wedding with us, it meant so much to us that you were willing to travel so far. Your presence there made our happy occasion even happier. John truly embodied what friendship meant. Our hearts and prayers go out to you all. Love Beth, Gary, and Gabriel

  • John Morey Posted June 2, 2020 2:18 pm

    What a shock! I am blessed to have known John, and hold close the times we had together. May you feel God’s comfort all around you.

  • Don Yaworski Posted June 2, 2020 2:49 pm

    Dear Kris, Jenn, Jeff and family,

    Johnna and I got dressed up for the service and Kris, I was reminded of how John was dressed when I took your engagement pictures. I dressed the same way!

    Hearing the words of the Pastor, Jason and Jeff, there was a definite theme of friendship. Your words were very fitting. Had I been able to say a few words, I would have talked about the treasured friendship that we shared over a lifetime and I would have said that John was my best friend. There would have been guys that would have heard that and thought to themselves, “John was my best friend.” I know of multiple guys who would have thought that and they were right. That is the kind of friend that John was. He is and will be missed by many, many people.

    Please accept our heartfelt condolences,
    With Love,
    Don and Johnna

  • Duane & Celine zStaiert Posted June 2, 2020 7:26 pm

    Kris & family:
    Our sincere condolences to you Kris & family at this time of John’s passing. John always took the high road in everything he did. He was a true people person. I truly enjoyed working with John when he was both at UPRR & when he joined Con Agra when I worked there. We had some fun times together & some challenging business experiences but we both came out better from the experiences. His strong Christian faith was evident in his business dealings.
    Kris & family our sincere thoughts & prayers are with you at this difficult time. Take care & God bless. Duane & Celine

  • Laura Sampson Posted June 2, 2020 9:22 pm

    Dear Kris and family, I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. I know he was a great friend to my dad and so many others. I will always have the best memories of late night dinner conversations and John and my dad reliving the glory days at the Union Pacific. Thinking of all of you. — Laura Sampson

  • Dick Ramsey Posted June 3, 2020 6:56 pm

    Dear Kris, Jenny, Jeff, the entire Behrens’s family and John’s many, many friends.

    Difficult for me to accept john has passed, I thought he would always be…..
    Met John, worked for and with him in the UPRR’s Food Group. Great, Great memories!! John was an ardent Chicago Bears fan and promoted and accepted an appropriate food group nick name of “Fridge”, honoring defensive tackle Raymond Perry. He also supported the Bulls and the cubs.
    John was very smart, sharing, sincere, supporting, an honest hardworking friend. His voice and laugh were attention getting and recognizable.

    I will miss John, but he will always be……

    Condolences to all.
    Dick Ramsey

    Honoring Jhon wasfoohonnh

  • Mark Sampson Jr. Posted June 5, 2020 4:43 pm

    Dear Kris and family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. News of John’s passing was heartbreaking. He was a great friend to my dad, and it was always wonderful to see John at the holidays when he would deliver treats to my parents. I will keep John and all of you in my prayers.
    -Mark Sampson Jr.

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