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Howard Behl Passes

SPRINGFIELD - Howard Behl of Springfield (IL), formerly of Rochester and New City, died Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008, at 10:05 a.m. at Heritage Manor, age 82.

He was born Jan. 6, 1926, in Cotton Hill Township, the son of Frank and Hazel Smith Behl. He married Sally Rhodes on May 29, 1950, in Rochester. He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Springfield and was self-employed as a riding instructor. He was an organist and choir director for 25 years at Rochester United Methodist Church, and played at Wilson Park Funeral Home. He was both organist and choir director throughout the Springfield community. He was a former secretary of the Illinois Morgan Horse Breeders Futurity, secretary of the Midwest Charity Horseshow and both judge and steward for many horse shows throughout the counties and states. Howard attended Springfield College and Illinois Wesleyan University in Normal, studying music as his major.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Kenneth L. Behl in 1999. He is survived by his son, Roger Behl (wife, Gayle) of Sherman; daughter, Sarah O'Shea (husband, John) of Pawnee; former wife, Sally Behl of Pawnee; seven grandchildren; a great-grandchild; sister, Mary Lee Jostes of Rochester; two brothers, Franklin Behl (wife, June) of Arizona and Lyle Behl (wife, Donna) of Rochester; and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008, at Wilson Park Funeral Home in Rochester. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008, at the funeral home, with the Rev. Dr. Gregory Tournoux officiating. Burial will be in Rochester Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Heritage Manor Memorial Gardens Fund.

Wilson Park Funeral Home in Rochester is in charge of arrangements.

Please visit the online obituary at

Published in The State Journal-Register on 1/29/2008.


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