Gail and Francis Behnke

December 19, 1939
March 7, 2021

Gail Pauline (Cardin) Behnke passed away into eternal peace February 23, 2021.  Although born in Chicago, IL on September 19, 1940, Gail was a lifetime Packer’s fan and member of the “Mom” Hall of Fame.  Raised in Marinette and graduated from high school there, she met and married Fran C. Behnke on October 24, 1959. Together they were married for 61 years.  Residing on Green Bay’s west side, Gail was an extraordinarily caring, loving, and gentle person with her three sons, her family, with her pets, and with anyone she met.

Time on the weekends was spent building a cottage in the cedar woods of Amberg, WI. Being a mom was a full-time job, she also worked for Laurmann’s Department Store, A.C. Neilson Company, Joerns Furniture of Green Bay, and later as a caregiver at the Denmark Senior Living Center. When the boys grew up, and Fran retired, together they built a beautiful hobby farm and pond on three acres in Morrison, WI.  There she enjoyed feeding her geese, ducks, deer, family, gardening, and canning. She enjoyed spending time reading and chronicling the day’s activities.

Francis Charles “Fran” Behnke joined his wife Gail on March 7, 2021. Fran was born in Marinette on December 19, 1939, to Joe and Alma (Salewski) Behnke. He was raised and schooled in Marinette where he loved the woods, hunting, fishing, and in his youth ran a lucrative paper route business.  He worked at Clark Gas Station, worked his way up through the petroleum industry with Consolidated Corporation and Speedway Corporation to become a district manager overseeing much of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Many were his stories through the years about his travels, remembrances, and occurrences of 40 years in the industry and on the road. They will be missed. Fran, like Gail, enjoyed the peace of the woods, the smell of a coming storm, the satisfaction of hard work, the smell of a campfire, supper cooking, and their family at their side. Whether they lived on Green Bay’s west side, its east side, on the farm they owned in Morrison, or in Amberg, these great qualities always went with them.

Gail and Fran are survived by their sons and their families, Jay (Jane) Behnke, Scott Behnke (Cherie Chmielewski); their grandchildren, Jake Behnke, Mitchell and Brock Behnke, Springsteen Rose Behnke, and Kayla Behnke; their great-grandsons, Karter and Jameson. Gail is further survived by her sister, Connie (Johnny) Boyer, her brothers, Rudy Jr. (Jane) Cardin, Leo Cardin; special nieces, Beth (Phil) Wadzinski, Kelly (Tony) Roskoski; many other nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Fran is further survived by his sisters, Donna Tomek and her family, Joyce Pazdera and her family, and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Preceded them both in death was their son, Tim Behnke, becoming everyone’s angel in December of 1997; Gail’s’ parents, Rudy and Victoria Cardin; her brothers, Roger Cardin; her sister, Mary Cardin; and Fran’s parents, Joe and Alma Behnke.

By the family’s wishes no service will be held. On-line condolences may be given at

Our whole family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Aurora BayCare Medical Center, all of the first responders, and to anyone who has reached out to talk to us or offer help and support to us-we appreciate it very much.