September 20, 1943 – August 2, 2022
David Behrens, age 78, of Gadsden, Alabama passed away on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. David Augustus Behrens was born September 20, 1943, in Broadway, Virginia, the son of Carl Douglas Behrens and Neola Whitmore Behrens. In 1961, he graduated from Broadway High School, where he participated in the All-State Concert Band. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Madison College (now James Madison University) in 1965, and served as Vice President of the Men’s Student Government Association and president of his fraternity. He attended the University of Mississippi with a grant from the National Science Foundation, and received a Master of Combined Sciences degree in 1970. Dave and his beloved wife, Melissa’s love story began during these graduate school days and became an example of lifelong commitment and devotion when they wed in 1971. Teaching high school took Dave to Charlottesville, Virginia, where he taught chemistry at Albemarle High School and later became Albemarle County’s Math and Science supervisor. He also took courses toward an Ed.D. at the University of Virginia. Prior to completing the degree, Dave moved to Gadsden along with his family. He ran Hosmer Moving & Storage for a few years. In 1979, he began a career at Life Insurance Company of Alabama that lasted over three decades until he retired as a Senior Vice President. At Life of Alabama, he was known not only for his kindness and integrity, but also for his willingness to tutor other employees’ children in chemistry after work if requested. Dave’s lifelong love of music never waivered, and he enjoyed playing the drums in various jazz combos, the orchestra pit of local theatrical productions, and the Kings of Swing big band orchestra. An avid golfer, he held two Parent/Child trophies from the Gadsden Country Club – one when paired with daughter Leigh, the other when paired with son Jon. He was an active member of the Lions’ Club for many years. Firm in his faith, Dave attended the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter throughout his time in Gadsden. He served as a lector and on the Vestry, as well as on the board of the Holy Comforter House retirement home. In later years, he and his wife Melissa served in the Brown Bag Ministry and the Rice and Beans ministry to support those in need. His great joy was spending time with his children and grandchildren. David was preceded in death by his parents, Carl Douglas Behrens and Neola Whitmore Behrens, as well as his sister, Mary Ellen Behrens Joynt, and brother-in-law, Richard Blaine Marshall. Survivors include his beloved wife, Melissa Louise Hosmer Behrens; daughter, Leigh (Jonathan) Koon of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; son, Jon (Shellie Harris) Behrens of Birmingham, Alabama; two grandsons, Harris Behrens and James August Behrens of Birmingham; granddaughter, Harmon Koon of Ponte Vedra Beach; a sister, Sara Behrens (Robert) Porter of Virginia; sister-in-law, Marilyn Hosmer Marshall; brothers-in-law, Robert Laird Joynt; and nieces and nephews. Honorary pallbearers include golf guys Bruce Akins, Steve King, Danny Ray, Bob Russell, Mike Shannon, Bob Short, Jim Turnbach; special cousin, Paul Whitmore; goddaughter, Alie Renfrow Causey Memorial donations may be made to the Brown Bag Ministry of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter, Gadsden, AL; the Episcopal Kyle Home of Gadsden, AL; Duck Springs Elementary School Library, Attalla, AL The family would like express a special thank you to devoted caregiver Maggie Loyd; dear neighbors Virginia and Steve Bray, Ethel and Wayne Ellidon, Charlotte and Terry A. Jones, and Eloise Simmons; Father Carl Saxton and the Holy Comforter church family; the medical team of Riverview Medical Center who cared for Dave; Compassus hospice nurse James. Memorial service will be held at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Comforter, 156 South 9th Street, Gadsden, Alabama on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 2:00 pm Central. The Reverend Carl M. Saxton II will officiate services. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at a reception in the parish hall. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.collier-butler.com for the Behrens family.See more See Less
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