Ernst ‘Ernie’ J. Behnisch, 86

Ernst “Ernie” J. Behnisch of Cedarburg passed away peacefully at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Mequon on April 3, 2013, at the age of 86.

Ernie was born on Aug. 1, 1926, in Cedarburg, the son of Ernst J. Behnisch and Mabel (nee Young) Behnisch. He grew up in Cedarburg and later graduated from Cedarburg High School in May of 1944.

Following a six-month stint with the Merchant Marines on the Great Lakes, he was inducted into the U.S. Army and spent the rest of World War II with the 6th Ranger battalion, in the Philippines. After peace was declared, Ernie was assigned to a Military Government unit, where he was a liaison with Japanese officials.

In July of 1946, Ernie was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army and returned to Mercury Marine where he worked as an outboard motor mechanic. By the age of 23, Ernie was selected to set up the company’s first official service training center in Fond du Lac. From then on, the service department grew at a rapid rate and Ernie was then promoted to be the director of service worldwide for Mercury Marine. He traveled abroad throughout the United States as well as Canada, Europe, and Australia, starting training programs in those countries.

Ernie was later promoted to represent Mercury Marine on the Corporate Responsibilities Committee of the Brunswick Corp., Mercury’s parent company, for a two year period. He also served on the Marine Service Council of NAEBM, and conducted numerous seminars at the University of Wisconsin on customer service.

Ernie retired from Mercury Marine after 44 years of faithful service in May of 1987. Ernie is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Marilyn (nee Jost) Behnisch; children, Cathy Seippel and Daniel (Karen) Behnisch; grandchildren, Dr. Chelsey Seippel, Ashley Seippel, Jonathan Behnisch, and Elizabeth Behnisch; siblings, LaVonne (Melvin) Eischen, Marianne (Charles) Czisny, and Arbutus (Harold) Greenfeldt; sister-in-law, Marcy Boerner; and brothers- in-law, Ronald (Betty) Jost and Timothy Jost. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Ernie was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, Lester Behnisch.

A memorial service was held at the Mueller Funeral Home & Crematory in Cedarburg on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Rita Bert of St. Francis Borgia Catholic Church officiated the memorial service. The U.S. Army along with the Peter Wollner American Legion Post 288 of Cedarburg conducted military honors.

Memorials to the Honor Flight Network are appreciated. Please visit to view the Ernie Behnisch video tribute or to send online condolences.

Mueller Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family.