(Oneida, NY –May 2013) Donald H. Behr, 84, of 223 North Street, Oneida, died Tuesday, May 7, from complications from injuries from a fall at his home on Monday. He was surrounded by loving family at Oneida Healthcare at the time of his passing./
Don was born May 27, 1928, in Oneida, the son of Otto F. and Frances J. Koenen Behr. A lifelong resident of the Oneida area, he was a graduate of Oneida High School class of 1946. He furthered his education from 1948 to 1950 by being in the first class at Lemoyne College in Syracuse. He received his bachelor’s degree from St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester where he attended from 1950 to 1954.
He later attended SUNY Potsdam from 1959 to 1963 where he received his master’s degree in education.
Don proudly served with the U.S. Army in Germany from January 1956 to November 1957 when he was honorably discharged.
He married Rita F. Sikora Nov. 15, 1969, at Transfiguration Church in Rome.
Don taught mathematics and audio visual arts at Staley Junior High School in Rome for 25 years, retiring in 1983. He then became a member of the Madison County Board of Supervisors representing Wards 4, 5 and 6 in the city of Oneida for 24 years.
He was an active member of St. Joseph’s Church in Oneida where he served as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Usher and a member of the Funeral Liturgy Teams. He was an honorary life member of the E. Bart Hanifin Council #473 Knights of Columbus and a member and Past Faithful Navigator of the Edward A. McDowell Fourth Degree Assembly. He was a member of the Fourth Degree Color Corps and a longtime chairman of the Bishops Burse Fund Drive.
Don enjoyed the local theatre and visual arts and was a longtime member of the Rome Community Theatre, Present Company Productions and the Rome and Oneida civic chorales. He served on the Oneida City School District Board of Education from 1975 to 1985. He was also a member of the City of Oneida Democratic Committee, the former Oneida Moose Lodge, the Oneida Nest of Owls #1606, The Oneida’s Club, the Oneida Chapter AARP, New York State United Teachers and the NYS Retired Teachers Association.
Surviving are his wife Rita, one son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Michelle Behr of Georgetown, Ken.; one daughter, Lisa Behr of Oneida; five grandchildren – Nathan, Jasmine, Jada, William and Isaac; one brother and sister-in-law, Frederick and Patricia Behr of Whitesboro; one nephew David (Laura) Behr of Oriskany; and a niece Sue (Kevin) Keehle of Sauquoit.
He was predeceased by a sister Eleanor Behr.
A Prayer Service was held Saturday, May 11, at Ironside Funeral Home. Funeral mass followed at St. Joseph’s Church; Rev. Richard J. Kapral officiated. Interment with military honors followed in St. Francis Cemetery, Durhamville.
Memorial Contributions may be made to either St. Joseph’s Shrine Statue Replacement Fund, 121 St. Joseph’s Place, Oneida, N.Y. 13421, or Madison County Office for the Aging, 138 Dominick Bruno Blvd., Canastota, N.Y. 13032.
To send an online message of condolence, visit www.ironsidefuneralhome.com.