January 08, 2015
Communications and Marketing
Mary Anne (Houran) Behnke, a former trustee of Saint Anselm College, passed away Dec. 22, 2014, in Decatur, Ill., at the age of 83. Born in Decatur, she was active in local civic and parish life, as well as serving on Saint Anselm College's Board of Trustees from 1994-2011. A valued member of the Saint Anselm community, Behnke's 17-year board tenure included serving on the student affairs committee.
Mrs. Behnke was the widow of David Behnke, with whom she had six children. A Mass of Resurrection was celebrated on Monday, Dec. 29 at Holy Family Church in Decatur, Ill.
Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., president emeritus of Saint Anselm College, reflected at her funeral service on a friendship that spanned 30 years.
"Whenever she was with us at Saint Anselm, she offered some keen insights into our Catholic and Benedictine educational mission and had a gracious and determined way of approaching sometimes very delicate issues," he said. He praised Mrs. Behnke's intelligence and her deep faith, adding that she was "a notable figure in the philanthropic world of her native Decatur and an advocate for a number of important causes."
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