Joe W.G. Behlau was born April 13, 1923 in Rochester, NY to Walter George Behlau and Mable (Knapp) Behlau. Joe was the second of four children; their mother died at the birth of the last. The children were raised by their father and their grandmother who was born in Germany. Joe’s father lost his nursery business during the great depression and the children sold their Grandmother’s baked goods door to door; their Father eventually got a job as manager of the nursery dept at Sears-Roebuck.
Often as many as three families of relatives lived in a house together pooling their resources. Joe grew up spending most days at the nearest WPA built swimming pool. Before entering the 9th grade, he won the Rochester Junior Diving Championship. When he attended West High School in Rochester, he was twice recognized as an All-American diver.
During WWII, Joe volunteered for the Army Air Corps and flew as a navigator. At the end of the war, he had attained the rank of Captain in the U.S. Air Force. He was awarded an Air Medal with 3 Oak leaf clusters and a Purple Heart while flying 35 missions over Germany.
Joe was discharged in 1947 and entered Washington State College on a swimming scholarship. In 951 after having completed a semester at Gonzaga Law School in Spokane, he was recalled to the Air Force for the Korean War. While instructing at Randolph Field in San Antonio in 1952 he met and married Bobbye Alexander of Lampasas. He was discharged again as a Lt. Colonel in the reserves and remained in the reserves until he retired in 1983. He finished his B.S. degree at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and started another career as a golf pro. That career included building several facilities and designing one as well. In 2005 the Behlaus retired in Lampasas and attended St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and promoted the Keystone Square Museum and Preservation Lampasas. Joe was a life member of the Professional Golf Association, a charter member of the WWII Memorial in Louisiana, a member of the Purple Heart Association in San Antonio and the American Legion in Lampasas.
He was a patriot and so believed in the two party system of government that he always contributed to both Democratic and Republican Parties. He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Bobbye Alexander Behlau. He is survived by his son, Robert Alexander Behlau of Aquilla, TX, nephews Edward Behlau of Arlington and Jerry Behlau of Rochester, NY
A funeral service will be held Wednesday Feb. 13, at 11am at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Lampasas. Burial will be in Davis Cemetery near Briggs. Visitation will be Tuesday Feb. 12th, 5-7pm at Sneed Funeral Chapel.
Donations may be sent to PGA drive, chip and putt program or St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Lampasas.