Jackson-William “Bill” Francis Behan passed away on March 21, 2023 at his home, with family present, after a long illness. Bill was born on August 24, 1939 to Frank and Lena (Smith) Behan. He graduated from Salem Central School in 1957 and went to Cobleskill for Poultry Management. He graduated there in 1959 and went into farming. Here he met James Carrolan who invited him to work as an apprentice and work toward becoming an electrician. Eventually, he went to Telescope Casual Furniture in Granville, NY as their head Electrician for 28 years where he met many close friends he holds dear to this day.
He married his wife, Sandra Haskell, of almost 60 years on September 7, 1963 at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Fort Ann, NY. They grew their family of 4 children Linda (Steve), Kelly, Sue (Mike), and David (Kim) to many grandchildren: Eric (Rayane) Hurst, Doug (Maddie)Hurst, Kristin Elich, Amanda Elich, Hannah Falk, Daniel Falk, Nick Falk, Joe (Brianna) Behan, Christina Behan, Jocelyn Behan and a Great granddaughter, Harper Rose Hurst. The family lost our beloved Daniel in June of 2022, which was devastating to the entire family, however, our community came together and supported us through this difficult time.
Bill took pride in his community and loved a good time. He organized several social events and made many friends along the way. He enjoyed the American Legion in Granville for many years and then the Cambridge American Legion where he and Sandra enjoyed great friends, food, drinks and several Clam steams. Another venue was at his own Pavilion. In 1979, he made a Clay Tennis court with a Pavilion in his side yard in time to celebrate he and Sandra’s 40th Birthday. The Birthday Bash was a full weekend of camping, food, friends and live music. They celebrated their 41st anniversary of their 39th birthday in 2019 with many of the same families that celebrated in 1979. Many other parties, including rehearsal night dinners, were held at the “court” with great fun had by all.
Bill and Sandi traveled to many places including trips to Civil War reenactments, Maine every summer, Mississippi (which he brought a love for Etouffee back with him), Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Florida and, of course, Australia. He made many good friends in Australia with the Falk family who visited him in the US as well. They have kept in close contact to this day.
Other activities he was active in: Owned a Moto Ski Shop, began several hunting clubs, was part of the Town of Jackson Planning Board for 18 years, was an avid ice fisherman, and had part in building his family farm to a Century Farm (March 1921 to March of 2021).
Bill states he has led a unique life which he wouldn’t trade a minute.
From Bill: “Of all my friends in Granville, Whitehall, and Vermont, if you met me, you know me, thank you for all the good times. To all my neighbors and friends, thank you all for what you did for me. Until we meet again, Happy Trails.”
Bill Behan (aka: to his friends “Wild Bill”, to the Grandkids: “Grandpa Tractor”, “Junior”)
A funeral mass will be held on Saturday March 25, 2023 at Holy Cross Church, Salem, NY at 9:00 am followed by a burial at Holy Cross Cemetery. A Celebration of life will follow at the Cambridge American Legion from 11 to 3 pm. Instead of flowers, the family asks donations be sent to the Salem Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 360, Salem, NY 12865, the Salem Vol. Fire Department, P.O. Box 449, Salem, NY 12865 and/or The Community Hospice, 179 Lawrence St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
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Salem Rescue Squad
P.O. Box 360, Salem NY 12865
Salem Vol. Fire Dept.
P.O. Box 449, Salem NY 12865
179 Lawrence Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866