Bertha “Bert” Behrend finally died on March 4, 2021 after an in-depth argument with ALS. She was at home surrounded by those who she loved the most. Born Bertha Claire Cole on August 2, 1966 in Laramie, Wyoming to Harry and Dorothy Cole, she quickly became the favorite sister of Ellen and Earl. Bert grew up as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In her early adulthood, Bert worked at the University of Wyoming. While working at the University, she took one class and received an A, which earned her a place on the Dean’s list and a 4.0 GPA. This gave her immense “giggles”.
Out of boredom, Bert moved to Northeast Iowa in 1992 where she met a humorous feller who stole her heart in a moment of extreme weakness. In Wood’s Landing, Wyoming she accepted his proposal and subsequently became Mrs. Michael Behrend on November 25, 1995 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Garnavillo, Iowa.
Bert’s children are her legacy and are the ones who will keep her memory most vividly alive. Austin was her rock, Dalton her bear and Chianne her sunshine. Her kids shared her love for constant sarcasm, HUGS, twisted humor and no political correctness what-so-ever. Bert was an irritable and indispensable helper for many years of the Bible School program in Garnavillo. She enjoyed being a part of the religious education program and board, as well as singing in the church choir at St. Joseph’s Church in Garnavillo. Prior to her diagnosis, Bert accomplished her lifelong dream of becoming a librarian at the Garnavillo Public Library. Bert loved laughter, bonfires and HUGS. While claiming to be the mother hen of Clayton County, those around her thought of her more like a mother bear; fearlessly protective and loyal to her “adopted” children. She was loud, obnoxious, sarcastic and inappropriate while making a profound impact on those who had the opportunity to know her.
Those left to cherish her memory are Mike, her husband of 25 years, her children, Austin, Dalton, Chianne, and her dog, Tater. She is also survived by her sister, Ellen Hardesty and brother Earl (Sarah) Cole; her nephews David (Canyon) Hardesty, Aaron (Robyn) Hardesty, Dustin Cole and Morrie Martinez; great nieces and nephews Cayden, Quinn, Madison, Nora, M.J., Julian and Matthew (Sarah). Great-great niece and nephew Clayton and Lyndsey; brothers-in-law Mark Behrend and Myron (Fran Schultz) Behrend and many cousins, relatives and friends.
She was proceeded in death by her parents, Harry and Dorothy Cole, brother, Jim Mahoney, sister, Alice Wood, brother-in- law, Jeff Hardesty and cousin, David Cole.
Arrangements are being handled by Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, 001 S Industrial Park Rd, Garnavillo, IA. There will not be a visitation. There will be a Memorial Mass on Wednesday March 10, 2021 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Garnavillo, Iowa where everyone is welcome to attend. For all those who plan to attend the funeral at 11, everyone will be required to wear a mask. Inurnment will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Garnavillo, IA.
In Lieu of flowers and all other styles of sympathy, Bert has asked that you consider giving a memorial in her name to any of the following 3 organizations that meant so much to her: Garnavillo Public Library, Crossing River Hospice or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
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