Earnest Leroy Behrend, the son of William and Anna (Gaer) Behrend, was born on October 11, 1911, on a farm near Redline, Iowa. He grew up on a homestead near Hereford, South Dakota, and attended country school through the eighth grade. After moving to Iowa, he married Fern Fiscus in March of 1936, in Audubon, Iowa. To this union, two children were born: Eldred and Wendell. Fern passed away March 12, 1948, in Audubon.
Earnest married Marie Sachtjen in January of 1953, in Winner, South Dakota. To this union two children were born: Wayne and Richard. They farmed in the Redline and Elk Horn (Iowa) area until moving to Harlan, Iowa, in 1992. Marie passed away on May 29, 1997, in Elk Horn.
Earnest L. Behrend died on Monday, May 10, 2004, at his Harlan, Iowa, home, at the age of 92 years, 6 months, and 29 days.
Preceding Earnest in death were his parents; his first wife, Fern Behrend; his second wife, Marie Behrend; one son, Eldred Behrend; three brothers, Oliver Behrend, Phillip Behrend, and Elmer Behrend; and one grandson, Todd Behrend. He is survived by three sons, Wendell Behrend and his friend, Darla Hall, of Kirkman, Iowa, Wayne (Jolene) Behrend of Harlan, Iowa, and Richard (Lorraine) Behrend of Walnut, Iowa; one sister, Elizabeth Chafee of Carlile, Wyoming; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on Friday, May 14, 2004, at the Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium in Harlan, Iowa, with Jeff Thayer, Jack Henry, Mike Henry, and Dirk Henry leading the service. Serving as pianist was Diane Harper, and vocalists were Earnest’s grandchildren. Honorary casket bearers were Bill Henry, Bill Griggs, Oran Skaw, Bernard Wolf, Steven Ellenwood, and Gary Jorgensen. Casket bearers were Craig Behrend, Tim Behrend, Scott Williams, Eric Behrend, Travis Behrend, Ryan Behrend, Nathan Behrend, and Dallas Birkhofer. Burial was in the Redline Cemetery in Redline, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of the arrangements.