Louis J. Behre

Born: Fri., Nov. 8, 1929
Died: Thu., May 3, 2018


12:00 PM to 1:30 PM, Fri., May 11, 2018
Location: St. Pius X Catholic Church

Funeral Mass

1:30 PM Fri., May 11, 2018
Location: St. Pius X Catholic Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers


Nov. 8, 1929 – May 3, 2018

I am writing my own obituary because I don't like long obits; also I would like to recognize some great friends.

I was born in Jamaica, New York, one of six children, four of whom still survive – my sisters Loretta and Marion, my brothers Joseph and John. I attended Catholic grade and high schools and have continued to embrace my Catholic faith as a member of the St. Mary's Catholic Church of Niles, Michigan.

I joined Clark Equipment Company upon graduation and worked with Clark for almost fifty years, interrupted by a two-year stint in the Army during the Korean War (1951-53).
I was stationed in Virginia and Massachusetts and was very disliked as the Chief of Classification and Assignment for the Army Security Agency; sending language school dropouts to be cooks was not popular. Returning home to NYC, I attended evening classes at NYU and then Adelphia University, where I graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business after nine years of study.

I married and had three somewhat unruly children: Donna, Chris and Nick - and three definitely unruly grandchildren, Max, Alex and Hannah.

Clark sent my immediate family to Europe in 1960. I worked in Belgium and England and “had a ball”. In 1971 when my family and I arrived at Clark's headquarters in Michigan, I thought it would be a 'fate worse than death’ … but it was hardly that. As the International Director of Advertising and Public Relations, the Chairman asked me to be the welcoming face of the company. I was able to travel the world with Clark, but I have always enjoyed returning to my rich life here in Michiana.

I have enjoyed working in the community as a host for a number of wonderful charities, planning fundraising events for Logan Center, Center for Hospice, South Bend Symphony, The History Museum, Studebaker Museum, Boys and Girls Clubs, IU Medical School at Notre Dame, WNIT, Saint Joseph Medical Foundation and many others. In lieu of flowers, your generous contribution to any one of these charities would be lovely.

I have loved being a gourmet cook, host and event planner extraordinaire, living a life surrounded by a loving family, a community of good friends and of course my antiques.

At this time, I would like to give special thanks to my family and dear friend Florindo Rozante for 'stepping up to the plate' with their loving care and for being with me in these last days.

I would also like to thank Monsignor Bill Schooler and Father Paul Doyle for their spiritual support during my time of need.


I would now would like to recognize my dearest friends for the past thirty years:
Florindo, Ernie, Chris and Carmi, Catherine and Jack, Janie and Don, Q Mary, Stephanie, Joyce, Pat, Polly, Nan, Marijo, Pam, Amanda, Nicole and John Lewis.

If I've given anyone a hard time... I am sorry.
I am ever blessed in having known you as friends.

With Love,

Visitation will be held on Friday, May 11, 2018 from 12:00pm until 1:30pm at Saint Pius X Catholic Church - 52553 Fir Road, Granger, IN. The Mass will begin at 1:30 p.m. A celebratory luncheon will immediately follow the mass at the Parish Life Center.
Family and friends may leave e-mail condolences at www.welsheimer.com.

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Brian Hedman
   Posted Tue May 08, 2018
Dear Family: I was Director of Century Center for thirty years and the Morris for eighteen years during those thirty years and had many opportunities to work with Lou. He was a professional person and planner in every respect and taught me so much.
We developed a strong friendship over the years and he even volunteered to assist in my daughter's wedding which was a splendid affair.
In the summer of 2016 we hosted him at a luncheon at our home and again it was a wonderful time to be with him.
He was a fine human being and he was so happy with his family. He will be missed, but remembered fondly.

Carol and I regret not being able to share these thoughts with you in person because we will be in Bloomington commencing Friday until late this Sunday.
Brian and Carol Hedman

Florindo Rozante
   Posted Tue May 08, 2018
This poem dedicated to Lou is more about his final release from his illness... that his choices to live may have been diminished, but never undermined... and that his urgency for life may have become a burden, but never eroded and always fortified... that now he is free to enjoy life in an another amazing place, as an amazing individual that he was... is... and will always be in our minds.
Thank you Lou... Flo

Freedom... For Lou... Freedom
By Florindo Rozante

Lou... Freedom is the most important feeling in the world....

Freedom to choose your new journey
Freedom from urgency
Freedom from pain
Freedom to live
Lou... you are free

Freedom from distress
Freedom from despair
Freedom to love
Freedom to care
Lou... you are free

Freedom from longing for what you wanted
Freedom to get what you deserved
Lou... you are free

Go wherever you want to go
Do whatever you want to do
And most importantly...
Be whoever you want to be
Lou... go with peace... you are free

Laura Gerber
   Posted Wed May 09, 2018
I was privileged to meet and know Lou when I worked at Clark Equipment for twenty five years. He was and is and will continue to be a legend in his own time. He was the consummate professional at all times but was never too consumed with the task at hand to see the humor in life and its various opportunities to find solutions. I remember Lou with great fondness and as one of those once in a lifetime individuals you meet. RIP LOU.

Donald F. Ryman
   Posted Wed May 09, 2018
I wish to express my sorrow and condolences at the death of Lou to his family and many friends. I worked with Lou during my 38 years as a Clark Equipment lawyer. I found Lou to be a gentleman and a talented Clark Equipment Company employee. I appreciated Lou's obituary in letter form. It was a nice way for Lou to say goodbye to all of us.

Jennifer Niezgodzki
   Posted Thu May 10, 2018
Donna and Family -

My deepest sympathy to all of you. Your Dad is in a much better place, free of pain and happy. I will always be here for you anytime you need me for anything. We are friends for life. I wish I would have gotten to know your Dad, but from what you have told me he was bigger than life and a happy man. Just follow in his footsteps and your life will be easier. My parents send prayers to you too Donald and Mary Alice. You are my sister and I love you. When you are ready I am here for you. Love you sister! Jen

John Cooke
   Posted Wed May 16, 2018
The Cooke family would like to express our deepest sympathy and condolences to all of Lou’s family for your loss.
Lou was the most urbane and generous person Barbara and I have been privileged to know in life. Lou was in total command of anything he undertook to do and wise to the ways of the world. A wine connoisseur, food expert, decorator, travel expert, bon vivant, man about town, thoughtful, considerate, mannerly with the women, and a man’s man.
Lou was one of the saving graces of our life in South Bend, and the greater South Bend social community was the beneficiary of his talents.
We will miss him and keep you all in our prayers.

John and Barbara Cooke

Vinnie Dablon
   Posted Tue June 05, 2018
Dear Chris, see you Fathers Day at Dablon. Carla and I will be there.

A couple centuries ago an old Hymnal called The Love of God was published with only one stanza. At this time, a man homeless and difficult, he was unfairly locked up in a cell along Englands rugged coast in a moss cover cell overlooking the Atlantic. Thought to be unstable and unloved, he passed away after years. When the guards open the single barred window cell overlooking the expansive sky and mighty Atlantic ocean,to remove him, they found the following etched upon the moss covered walls of the 6x6 cell.
"If we with ink the ocean fill and were the sky a parchment made:
If every stalk a quill and ever man a scribe by trade:
To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry, nor could the scroll contain the whole tho stretched from sky to sky:
Of Love of God so rich and pure so measureless and strong;
It shall forever endure the saints and angels song.