We had another untimely and unexpected death recently with the passing of my wife Cindy's father, James Carl Behlen Sr. I recall what may have been my first visit (an early one anyway) to the home of my future in-laws, Jim and Jackie Behlen. I am not sure of the exact date, but well over thirty two years ago as that is how long Cindy and I have been married. Her mother Jackie and father Jim were then living in Dublin, CA so we were in closer proximity and visits took place more frequently. I sat down for the first time at their kitchen table, trying to play it cool and make the good impression as the boyfriend/college man/future son-in-law. No sooner had my rather sizable derriere hit the chair when the loud cracking of wood could be heard and down I went in a pile of splinters. Talk about life's most embarrassing moments! Fortunate for me, I wasn't skewered, the cameras weren't rolling and the chair was not a family heirloom. Jim and Jackie massaged my damaged ego and continued to make me feel at home. Jim had a good laugh and would not let me live it down anytime soon thereafter. Cindy lost her mother Jackie to cancer not long after those first visits I had to the home in Dublin.
Through the years, we didn't always have a lot of time with Jim, as we moved to different states and opportunities to visit became more limited. It seems time has never provided enough when death comes knocking. I will always remember my last visit, hug and cry with my father in-law Jim, immediately following the dispersing of Jimmy Juniors ashes (another much too soon a death) out of an airplane over Sand Mountain, Nevada in 2005. It was a rather incredible moment that remains etched forever even in my somewhat weak memory. Junior and senior are now soaring together again. We love and will miss you always. My loving condolences to my wife Cindy, sister and brother in-laws Mandy and Kevan, Jim's wife Patti and all the rest of the many members of that side of our family. John
James Carl Behlen Sr.
James Behlen Sr. born on April 30, 1933 to Carl and Sophie Behlen Mandella and Frederick Mandella died February 5, 2010 due to heart failure.
He was preceded in death by son, James Behlen Jr.; wife, Jacqueline Behlen; wife, Marilyn Conradi Behlen; and his parents.
Jim is survived by his wife, Patricia Behlen; children, Cindy, Kevan and Mandy Behlen, Gene, Jerry and Lisa Conradi, Sheree, Jim and Leslie Vassion; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
At Jim's request, no services are planned. His family will meet Saturday, February 20, 1:00 p.m., at 7701 Hardeson Road, Everett, WA in the cabana at Westridge Estates.