Cover photo for William C. Behrens's Obituary

William C. Behrens

William C. Behrens age 51, born on June 26, 1971, in Cleveland, Ohio, and passed away on April 19, 2023.

Loving father of Zachary Gochneaur, Jacob Behrens (wife Madeline), and Stephen Godsey; Papa Bill of Christian Godsey; son of William R. Behrens (wife DeeAnne) and Paula Wilt (husband Rick); brother of Jenna Clayton, Danny Behrens, Joey Behrens, and the late Angie McKean; nephew of Margaret Carlino, Jeanne Baker, Mary Wander, Carol Pakish, Andrea Kimball, Martin Behrens, Teresa Behrens, Stephen Behrens, and the late Kathryn Wickes and Donna Brown.

How do you boil down a man like Bill, and all the moments you’ve shared, into just a few words and favorite memories? He meant so much to so many; to family and friends, to coworkers and even strangers. There isn’t a soul Bill met that wasn’t impacted by him.

He was a father when you needed discipline or guidance. A friend when you needed comfort or a really good laugh. Bill was a role model when you felt lost or alone. An inspiration when you needed to be inspired. And he was always dedicated to what was fair, honorable, and truthful.

He fought for everyone. First for himself, just to be here after being born 3 months premature. And then he fought to be in the way of injustice being done to others. Bill poured himself into law, graduating in 2015, so he could be the voice for the many that didn’t have one. Bill made sure that you always knew you could count on him to be there, fighting for you with unwavering passion. When everyone else lays down their weapons, he’s still swinging.

Because that’s who Bill was. He was a fighter, unafraid and immovable. He was genuine, pure, and brave. And he wasn’t just brave for himself, but for others too. He wouldn’t just strike your foes down for you, but he would help you face them yourself, so you could see that you could be brave too, just like him.

Bill always believed in you, and he always supported you. Any time you felt lost or directionless he would give you a map, guiding you on where to go, and what to do next. He loved being a voice for the voiceless, and he loved helping his family and his friends. He had hope for the future, and faith in humanity. Bill was proud to be here, to be a guide for all of us. And he was always excited for what was next. Even in the face of death he never slowed down, never stopped fighting, and he never stopped being brave.

His passing leaves a wound that will take a lifetime to heal. We’re going to miss hearing his chipper laugh that follows a morbid joke, and the fire you feel radiating from him in the midst of a really good argument. We’ll miss the energy he brings to family gatherings, and his powerful presence at the dinner table. We’ll miss the late nights and the lengthy phone calls. His warm hugs, and soft smiles. We’ll miss his “I love you’s” and the proud look he had in his eyes when he was surrounded by his family. We’ll miss all the moments we remember, and all the moments we’ll never get.

Bill’s absence will be felt by many. He was a wise man who left behind many lessons, and many words of wisdom; and Bill would not want us to mourn for very long, because there is always work to be done. So may he rest now, easy and at peace. Let him know that we’ll all take it from here, and continue to spread the same love, devotion, kindness, and justice that he shared with all of us.

Cremation by DeJohn Crematory.

Private services will be held.


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