OCONOMOWOC

Ruth A. Behling
May 20, 1923
March 5, 2017

Ruth A. Behling (nee Wolber) of Oconomowoc passed away on Sunday, March 5, 2017, at the age of 93. She was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, on May 20, 1923, to Pastor Henry and Wilhelmina Braun Wolber.

Prior to coming to Oconomowoc in 1943, she lived in Indiana, Ohio, northern Wisconsin, and Canada. She graduated from high school in Rice Lake and then attended Luther College in Regina, Saskatchewan.

On June 4, 1944, she married Karl F. Behling of Oconomowoc at Dr. Martin Luther Church, Oconomowoc. The couple operated a dairy farm on Allen Road. In 1974 they retired from dairying and then engaged in breeding Morgan horses and driving antique carriages in parades, weddings, wagon trains, parties and sleigh rides. Karl preceded her in death in February 2012 at the age of 99 years.

In addition to her farm and equine-related activities, she was a freelance writer, publishing in religious and farm publications. She wrote advertising copy. She used her admirable writing ability on a volunteer basis for several organizations doing publicity for Church Women United, Lutheran Homes of Oconomowoc, and the League of Women Voters. She served on the state boards of the American Lutheran Church Women and the Wisconsin State Questers editing newsletters for both of them as well as for the Oconomowoc Historical Society and Lutheran Homes of Oconomowoc. She was a longtime active member of Dr. Martin Luther Church, but in later years she joined Cross Lutheran Church in Ixonia.

She researched and compiled histories of both those churches. She wrote a biography of John S. Rockwell, the founder of Oconomowoc.

She will probably be most remembered for "The Behling Banner," her annual Christmas letter that chronicled, in an entertaining way, the daily events of the year. In later years, her failing eyesight prohibited this endeavor.

Preceding her in death were her husband, parents; four brothers, Dr. Paul Wolber, Pastor Arthur Wolber, Pastor Herbert Wolber, and Bishop David Wolber; and nieces, and nephews.

She is survived by her sister-in-law, Shirley Wolber (David) of Key Largo, Fla., and many other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 11, at Cross Lutheran Church, W710 Gopher Hill Road, Ixonia, with Pastor Goodrich presiding.

Memorials to Cross Lutheran Church or to the Oconomowoc Historical Society are appreciated.

Schmidt & Bartelt Notbohm- Kreutzmann Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family. For more information, call 262-5674459 or visit online at www.schmidtandbartelt.com.