August 20, 2019

Lorraine E. Behnke

Died May 14, 2019

Posted

Lorraine Esther Behnke, 71, affectionately known as Bunny Marsh, lost her battle with this thing we call life May 14, 2019.

Born on Easter Sunday March 28, 1948, Lorraine gained the name Bunny and was left by her mother to be raised in Mio by her grandparents George and Elizabeth Marsh. Bunny had fond memories of living above the Mio jailhouse when her grandpa was the sheriff. She talked of how those jailed would get out early by washing the police cars, how her grandma (“Ma” to her) fed the inmates the same meals they ate. There was a spider so big in the garage that grandpa had to kill it with a broom! (She hated spiders.)

Later Bunny lived on the farm north of town across from the Troyer store. Life on the farm was hard, but here is where she developed her deep love of animals. Whenever she could she would ride through the woods on her beloved horse Flicka. This is how she met her lifelong friend and then neighbor, Mary Bugg, who predeceased her. Bunny and Mary had many adventures — one of them was making it to their waitressing job in Rose City in less than 10 minutes! (Bunny was driving of course.)

A member of the Fairview High School class of 1966, she was a beauty, dark auburn hair and bright blues eyes. For some crazy reason she dyed that hair blond while on the senior trip to Washington, D.C., though. Due to a dispute with her teacher she was one credit short from graduating. Stubborn as she was, she didn’t give in but years later earned her GED from Pinconning High School. Pinconning is where Bunny spent the majority of her life. She loved her wooded property full of little critters. Many good times were had there as well as many friends made, too many to list.

Bunny worked at several jobs, waitressing, retail management, office assistant and cleaning services. By far the job that fulfilled her most was that of a certified nurse’s aide. She had a deep passion for the care of the disabled and elderly. It is heartbreaking that in the end she became a victim of that system she wished to better.

Bunny married three times and divorced three times — unlucky in love but her heart was always open to it. Lost love was not the worst pain she suffered. She had a body that continually punished her with decades of debilitating disease. Despite this, she rarely complained. She was a woman of such incredible internal strength matched by very few in this world.

Her only child, Danielle Dierck, survives her. In a plea to her daughter Bunny urged, “Like the song says, I hope you dance, go places and do things before you can’t. Even if you can’t afford it, go. You never know when your ability to go will be gone, so dance while you can.” This is something Bunny was very familiar with as her ability to go places and do things slowly drained away, ultimately leaving her unable to live independently with her dogs as she so desperately desired.

A memorial service will be held for Bunny on Saturday, June 22, at 1 p.m. at the Lashley Funeral Home, 318 Pearl St., Mio. This will be followed by interment at Kittle Cemetery and a luncheon at the New Hope Assembly of God Church, 520 W. Eighth St., Mio. All are welcome. Please bring your stories and any photos you may have to share. Donations for a future grave marker will be graciously accepted.

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