Harry Martin Behney, Jr.July 14, 1923 ~ January 7, 2017 (age 93)
Harry Martin Behney, Jr., 93, passed away peacefully Saturday, January 7, 2017, at Hershey Medical Center, with family at his side.
Harry, the son of Harry Martin Sr, and Helen Behney (nee Wertz), was born in Harrisburg, PA on July 14, 1923. Harry was raised in Harrisburg until age 15 when he and his parents moved to a family farm in South Annville. He graduated from Annville High School in 1940, then immediately served in the Army during WWII, in the 568th anti-aircraft battalion in Belgium and Germany. Upon returning from the war, Harry pursued his love for the dairy industry by obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University in Dairy Husbandry, specializing in Dairy Manufacturing.
Harry devoted his whole career to the safety of public health. His professional occupation commenced with Sealtest Dairies in Baltimore as an assistant plant manager. Then, after some time as a manager for another dairy, Lenkerbrook Dairies, he was asked to work for the PA Department of Agriculture. This career step broadened his responsibilities to statewide oversight and direction of PA dairy laboratories. He was also involved nationally with the US Public Heath Service and was certified as a US Public Health Service Dairy Laboratory Surveillance Officer. Harry retired in 1986 and was awarded a lifetime membership in the PA Approved Dairy Laboratory Directors Association in appreciation for his distinguished service.
Harry’s interest in the dairy industry rolled over into his personal life by supporting his wife’s desire to raise select Holstein heifers. So, he and his family pursued this adventure on their two farms and approximately 160 acres in South Annville. The homestead provided many opportunities for Harry to enjoy his other pleasurable past-times - small game hunting, and perfecting the art of stone masonry. The hunting provided great bonding time with his friends and family members, and the stone masonry resulted in the erection of many stonewalls on the property and three beautiful stone homes.
In his retirement, Harry and his wife Betty enjoyed traveling all around the world, often with their Hershey friends through the Areba Club. This group had a myriad of wonderful adventures and the trips produced life-long friendships and memories.
In addition, he was active in various community organizations, volunteering his services to many groups, including the Annville American Legion, Palmyra Jaycees, Land development projects in South Annville, church endeavors and various hospital volunteer services. He is a long-term member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Palmyra, PA.
Harry always enjoyed spending time with his family, especially devoting hours upon hours with his four grandchildren as they grew up and continued this tradition into their adulthood. He was especially delighted with his new moniker of great granddad and that of great, great granddad!
Harry was married to Betty Jeanne Keeney Behney for 64 years. Betty passed away in November 2004. He also was preceded in death by his daughter, Lana Jeanne Behney Stick, in December 1995, and his only sibling, a brother, Edward J. Behney, who died in September 1989.
Harry is survived by a son, Jan T. Behney and wife Ann (nee Black) of Trophy Club, TX, four grandchildren, Suzan Hite, Jacksonville, FL, Jeff Stick, Jacksonville, FL, Chris Behney and Erinn Behney, both of Trophy Club, TX, several great-grandchildren, one great, great grandchild and a number of nieces and nephews from Groton, CT.
A celebration of Harry’s life will be held on Friday, April 14, 2017 at 11 am, with visitation from 10 am to 11 am at his church, Trinity United Church of Christ, 40 West Pine Street, Palmyra, PA. His friend and pastor, the Reverend Julie Beall will be officiating. Interment will be immediately following the service at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville, PA.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to charities of your own choosing, or to Trinity United Church of Christ, 40 West Pine Street, Palmyra, PA 17078 or the Lebanon Valley Brethren Home, 1200 Grubb Road, Palmyra, PA 17078.