Jack Roger Behlendorf
April 11, 1934 – April 19, 2021
Jack Roger Behlendorf, 87, of Williamsburg, VA died April 19, 2021. He was a resident of Williamsburg for 24 years.
Born in Milwaukee, WI, Rev. Behlendorf graduated from Bay View High School and was an Eagle Scout. He earned his Bachelor's degree from The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and graduate degrees from The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, IL, Long Island University, NY, and The George Washington University, Washington, DC. Immediately following his Ordination, he was called to lead the organization of a new Lutheran congregation in Burlington, IA, and was pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Dunlap, IA before being led to a call to become a US Army Chaplain.
As a chaplain Rev. Behlendorf’s assignments included pastoral and administrative duties at various stateside Army posts, as well as overseas assignments in Viet Nam, Germany and South Korea. His final Army duty station was the US Army Chaplain Center and School at Fort Monmouth, NJ. During his military service, Rev. Behlendorf was awarded the Bronze Star during his service in Viet Nam, the Meritorious Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal. Following Rev. Behlendorf’s retirement from the US Army, he led the congregation of Zion Lutheran Church in Saddle River, NJ where he served until his second retirement. Upon relocating to Virginia, he was called to serve as interim pastor at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Hampton, VA, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Norge, VA.
While residing in Williamsburg Rev. Behlendorf volunteered at the John D. Rockefeller Library and Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The Behlendorfs also traveled extensively. A bucket list item was to spend at least one night in each of all 50 states and they were able to travel to all continents except Antarctica. Rev. Behlendorf had a passion for all things transportation, especially trains, and was an avid collector of maps and transportation schedules. He was a voracious reader, especially military historical fiction.
Rev. Behlendorf enjoyed his time with family, especially with his wife of 64 years, Joyce. He is survived by his wife Joyce; son Jack, Jr. and his wife Shawn of Essex Junction, VT; and daughter Jeri Meermans and her husband Jeffrey of Williamsburg. He was the beloved grandfather of Megan Brooks of Beverly, MA, and Joseph Behlendorf of Jersey City, NJ; Zachary, Travis and Kara Meermans of Williamsburg. He also is the proud great grandfather of Charlotte, Callie and Eliza Brooks of Beverly, MA. The Behlendorfs are members of St. Stephen Lutheran Church.
A visitation will be held from 7-9:00pm Friday, May 14th, 2021 at Nelsen Funeral Home, Williamsburg. A burial at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be sent to the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Fund, National Processing Center, PO Box 96764, Washington, DC, or St. Stephen Lutheran Church 612 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Nelsen Funeral Home
Jack Roger Behlendorf
April 24, 2021
Dear Joyce, Jeri and family, When I saw the last name for this obituary, I thought of you all immediately and remembered all the good times we shared in DAR! I want to express my deepest sympathies to you in your loss. My heart goes out to you and my prayers will include you during this time of sadness. Though Jack is absent from the body, present with the Lord, I know that his passing from this world is painful for each of you. Love, sympathy, and many prayers, Gail