Bette Mae (Hall) Behrens

Bette Behrens

VERONA – On Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2019, Bette Mae (Hall) Behrens passed away at age 94, shortly after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She handled her illness with courage, grace, and tenacity.

Bette was born on Oct. 9, 1925, in Dubuque, Iowa, to John and Viola (née Heller) Hall. She met the love of her life, Reverend James F. Behrens, and they married on June 3, 1945. Together, Bette and Jim raised two children, James W. and Deborah. The Behrenses served Lutheran parishes throughout Wisconsin, in Marshfield, Shawano, Prairie du Sac, and Reedsburg, before retiring to Cedarburg. Bette later moved to Verona, where she was a devoted member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison.

Known for her conversational skill and charming wit, Bette made a friend wherever she went. The center of her life was always her family, and she drew great enjoyment from being “Grandma Bette.” She loved visiting her grandchildren around the country, from New York City to Chicago to Denver, and spending quality family time in the Wisconsin north woods at Dairymen’s. She will be best remembered for her compassionate, gracious spirit and her optimism and gratitude.

Bette was preceded in death by her parents; stepfather, Walter Behrens; three sisters, Ora Gremmels, Meriel Kuester and Mary Erpelding; and her husband. She is survived by her son, James (Jane) Behrens; daughter, Deborah (Dr. Thomas) Puchner; five grandchildren, Elizabeth (Eyal Karsh) and Rebecca (Blake Merriman) Behrens and Mollie, T.J., and Tim (Emily) Puchner; and two great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Eva Behrens-Karsh.

A funeral service will be held at GOOD SHEPHERD LUTHERAN CHURCH, 5701 Raymond Road, Madison, at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. Visitation will be held at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service on Friday.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff and caregivers from Agrace and Age at Home by Agrace for their excellent care. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Agrace HospiceCare or Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Online condolences may be made at