Otto Karl Behrens Jr., age 77, of Columbia City, passed away peacefully at 10:56 p.m., surrounded by his loving family, on Friday April 22, 2016 at his residence.
Born on October 15, 1938 in New York City, N.Y. he was the son of Otto K. and Effie Joan (Roberts) Sr.
Otto and his family moved from New York City to Indianapolis as a small child. He attended Shortridge High School and graduated with the Class of 1956. He went on to earn his B.A. degree from DePauw University. In 1961 he returned to New York City to earn his M.B.A. degree from Rutgers University.
Otto proudly served his country in the U.S. Army. On Dec. 22, 1962 Otto married Diane Lucas Rankin in Butler, N.J. In 1965 he moved to Warsaw, before settling in Columbia City in 1970. Otto worked as an accountant for Ernest & Ernest in New York and R.R. Donnelly in Warsaw before purchasing Jack Gwin Accounting in Columbia City, which was later renamed Otto Behrens, CPA.
Otto was a Deacon at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Wayne, where he was also involved in the choir for over 20 years. He was an Elder at First Presbyterian Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church in Columbia City. Otto was Vice President of Lakeland Girl Scout Association, Past President of Whitley County Planning Commission, Chancel Choir member, and Past Docent at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. Other memberships include Rotary Club, United Fund, Whitley County Chamber of Commerce, Emeritus Board Member of Heartland Sings, and 4-H Sheep Club Leader. He was also coach to several softball and baseball teams.
Survivors include his loving wife of 53 years Diane Rankin Behrens of Columbia City; children: Connie Jo (Ron) Raypole of Columbia City; CherylAnn (Jim) Collett of Larwill; Karl (Tammy) Behrens of Fort Wayne; and Carrie Lynn (Mark) Snyder of Fort Wayne; grandchildren: Samantha (Brad) Smith, Courtney (Ryan) Bumbaugh, Carson Schrader, Corinna Raypole, Alexandria Schrader, Kolin Behrens, Brendan Creech, Kailey Behrens, Kendall Creech, Colten King, Adrienne Creech, and Addison Creech; two great-grandchildren Jackson and Adelynn Smith; sister Joan (Calen) Rayne of Asheville, NC. He was preceded in death by his parents Otto Karl Sr. and Effie Joan Behrens.
Friends may call on Friday April 29, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services for Otto will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday April 30, at First Presbyterian Church, 300 West Wayne Street, Fort Wayne, with calling one hour prior. A private burial will take place in Greenhill Cemetery, Columbia City.
Memorial contributions in memory of Otto may be made to First Presbyterian Church Music Series, Heartland Sings, or Heartland Home Health & Hospice.
DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, is in charge of arrangements.