By Doug Zellmer of The Northwestern
Those who knew William "Bill" Behring said they would miss his spirit and caring attitude he had for others, especially students he taught at Lourdes High School.
"He taught you in spite of your lack of interest, and as a teacher and he wouldn't let you give up. He'd stick with you even though you weren't at the top of the class," said George Benz, a 1971 graduate of Lourdes, who had Behring as a chemistry teacher.
Behring, 59, died Friday at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh. He had served for 35 years at Lourdes teaching chemistry, physics and math before retiring in 2000.
Staff members at Lourdes said many graduates of the school often came to visit Behring and to thank him for what he had done for them over the years.
"His biggest concern was for his students. He wanted them to be prepared for the next step in their education and to be successful," said Tom Baum, a social studies teacher at Lourdes. "Bill was a very serious teacher, but he had a lighthearted personality. He loved to joke around."
Judy Jacobson, who teaches physical education at Lourdes, said she remembered when Behring helped her out following the tornado that struck Oshkosh in 1974.
"My garage blew down and he was right there to help me rebuild it," she said. "That was the type of person he was. I'll remember him as one of the best friends that I ever had."
Behring was a big fan of the Ford Mustang car, said Andy Wesner of Wesner Auto Body in Oshkosh.
"He loved to come down and work with us on those cars and share a lot of memories," Wesner said.
A visitation for Behring is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. today (3/4/03) at St. Raphael Catholic Church in Oshkosh followed by a funeral Mass.