July 26, 1935 - May 9, 2020
Don Behrend died at home Saturday May 9, 2020, at the age of 84. He finished his race strong in faith. Don was born in Sturgis, South Dakota. Don attended Kelso schools graduating from KHS in 1953. In the summer of that same year he married the love of his life, ArLeeta Fowler. They made their home in Kelso all 63 years of their marriage. Don held a 40 hour a week job while going to high school, courting ArLeeta and making furniture in the wood shop at school. He was known as a top-notch builder starting Behrend Construction in the late 60's. In the early 80's he changed the business focus and became Behrend Realty. He built and sold many houses in Cowlitz County. He taught his family to work hard but to play hard too. He loved to hunt and fish. Donald was the loudest fan in the crowd watching his family play sports! Highlights of his life included taking his grandchildren to Hawaii and fishing in Alaska and his wife being the only woman on charter trips catching the biggest or most fish! Don was preceded in death by his wife ArLeeta, 3 sisters and 1 brother. He is survived by; two daughters Leah Whitley and Rita LiaBraaten; granddaughter Shawna (Matty) Rae; grandsons Jered (Jessica) Rusher, Brent (Erika) LiaBraaten and Bryce (Mallory) LiaBraaten; 9 great grandchildren; sister Lela (Lee) Jacobsen, Lynn (Larry) Ramer; and many loving in-laws, nieces, nephews and close friends. Don would have wanted EVERYONE welcomed to a memorial service and he would have treated everyone to lunch after the service, but current times won't allow a gathering so a special tribute can be viewed at https:/youtu.beaTp1eZx3A8.
The family would like to express a special thank-you to the residents and staff at the Canterbury Park for the special care and companionship he enjoyed there.
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