Alton E. Behrend
July 31, 1921 – February 11, 2020
“A life well-lived.” These words describe Alton E. Behrend. Many knew him as “Uncle Alton” or “The Feed Store Man.” He was extremely generous, loved and respected by all. Those who were blessed to know him always appreciated Alton’s kindness and sense of humor. Because of his strong Christian faith, Alton was always asked to say the blessing over meals at family functions.
One of fourteen children, Alton was born in Manheim, Texas on July 31, 1921. Alton was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church, and was faithful in his walk with the Lord until the end. He attended school in Manheim through the seventh grade, when he left school to help his family on the farm. Alton was always a hard-working man, picking cotton as a teenager in order to help support his family. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Alton enlisted in the United States Navy and served as a Radioman First Class until the end of World War II, serving in the Philippines, the Samoan Islands, and Japan. Upon his return to Houston, Alton worked with his brother-in-law and soon became the owner of Quality Feed Company on North Main Street in the Heights. The feed store was a huge part of his life and the community, and he will always be remembered as “The Feed Store Man.” Alton successfully ran that business until he sold it in 1991.
Alton was a faithful member of Trinity Lutheran Church – Downtown for over 70 years. He served as usher and head-usher for many years, and for many who attended Trinity, he was the “face” of the church, greeting all who entered with a welcoming handshake and smile. Alton enjoyed singing hymns, and sang in the Trinity Senior Choir for many years. Until right before he went to live at Brookdale-The Heights assisted living facility, Alton was one of the hardy folks who showed up at Trinity Monday mornings at 5 a.m. to count the tithes and offerings from the day before.
Alton was a devoted and loving husband to Ella, his wife of 47 years, a doting father to Pam, and an adoring grandfather to Anneliese and Natalie. He loved attending family reunions and reminiscing and catching up with his siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews. Alton was preceded in death by Ella Behrend, his wife of 47 years, infant children Cynthia Ann Behrend and Keith Ray Behrend, and his sisters Gertrude Willman, Lydia Romund, Edna Arldt, Dora Moerbe, Esther Theiss, Lorene Martin, Florence Land, and brothers Albert, Herbert, Erwin, and Milton. He is survived by his daughter Pam Buenker, her husband Joe, granddaughters Anneliese and Natalie, sisters Anita Markwardt and Gloria Stengel, and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Alton loved gardening and was known for his green thumb and extensive knowledge of plants, enjoyed his bowling leagues, loved listening to and watching his Astros, and loved playing solitaire and dominoes, especially the game of “42.” Most of all, though, Alton loved people.
In his later years, Alton spent countless hours at Brookdale-The Heights playing dominoes, sitting on the porch watching the birds and acting as the unofficial greeter of all who entered. We would like to acknowledge with great appreciation the kind and loving staff at Brookdale who loved and took gentle care of him until the end.
As someone said just the other day, “He was one fine man.”
- Pam Buenker and her husband Josef, Daughter
- Anneliese Buenker, Granddaughter
- Natalie Buenker, Granddaughter
- Anita Markwardt, Sister
- Gloria Stengel, Sister
- Ella Behrend, Wife (deceased)
- Cynthia Ann Behrend, Daughter (deceased)
- Keith Ray Behrend, Son (deceased)
- Gertrude Willman, Sister (deceased)
- Lydia Romund, Sister (deceased)
- Edna Arldt, Sister (deceased)
- Dora Moerbe, Sister (deceased)
- Esther Theiss, Sister (deceased)
- Lorene Martin, Sister (deceased)
- Florence Land, Sister (deceased)
- Albert Behrend, Brother (deceased)
- Herbert Behrend, Brother (deceased)
- Erwin Behrend, Brother (deceased)
- Milton Behrend, Brother (deceased)
Trinity Lutheran Church Downtown Music Ministry
800 Houston Ave. , Houston, Texas 77007
- Visitation Friday, February 14, 2020
- Funeral Service Saturday, February 15, 2020
- Committal Service
Alton E. Behrend
February 15, 2020
I’m so sad to hear of Alton’s passing. I first met Alton and Lydia at the feed store, working on the telephone. How could anyone not love the two of them. We bought our first ring neck doves from Alton, took them home, placed them in their cage, and loved their peaceful coo. Our first egg hatching was on a cold rainy day, I was at work, my husband called with the great news....our eggs had legs! A year or so later, we bought our home in Timbergrove Manor, becoming neighbors to Alton. Our doves continued to thrive, we shared babies with neighbors, and turned some loose, I’m sure there are still some ring neck doves on Grovewood Ln. Alton was so kind to stay on at the feed store when Ken & Chris bought it, Alton was such a kind gentle giant. Tall in stature, giant in kindness, and stellar in his faith. Rest well my friend, you are home now.
February 12, 2020
To Pam and family, I would like to express my sincere sympathy and condolences regarding the loss of your father, Alton (Al). My grandmother and I did business with him for years. I don’t believe I knew a kinder or finer man at the time. I would always ask the guys at Quality Feed Store now how he was doing. The last time I was there inquiring about him was at Christmas time. I sold my California King bunnies to him that I raised, and my Grandmother sold her parakeets, doves, and pigeons, but mostly parakeets to him. He was indeed a legacy in the Heights. May he rest in eternal peace with the Lord. ❤️🌹✝️❤️