William L. Behan Jr.

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 17, 2006

William L. Behan Jr., died of cancer at his home in St. Louis,Mo., on Oct. 13, 2006. Mr. Behan was 92 years old and is survivedby his wife of 71 years, Marjorie Wilkins Behan, 91.

A memorial mass will be celebrated in St. Louis today, Oct. 17,2006.

Mr. Behan was a former chairman and chief executive officer ofHill Behan Lumber Company. Founded in 1912, Hill Behan LumberCompany was a prominent retailer of lumber and building materialswith locations in four states: Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi andLouisiana. Mr. Behan was a son of the co-founder of Hill BehanLumber and played an influential role in the company’s growththroughout an 89-year history.

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A native of St. Louis, Mr. Behan was born in 1914 and was agraduate of Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisc.He began his career in 1933 by joining his father in business atHill Behan Lumber Company. Hill Behan Lumber Company first beganoperations in Brookhaven in 1943 as Columbus Lumber Company, aSouthern Yellow Pine sawmill and lumber treatment plant. Hill BehanLumber Company later added a retail building material outletserving Southwest Mississippi home builders and homeowners.Columbus Lumber Company is one of Lincoln County’s oldestcontinuing businesses and was honored as the Brookhaven/LincolnCounty Chamber of Commerce Industry of the Year in 1988. Mr. Behankept a home in Brookhaven during his 50 years of involvement withColumbus Lumber Company. Mr. Behan’s son, John M. Behan Sr., andlater his grandson William L. Behan IV served as Columbus LumberCompany President.

Mr. Behan was an active supporter of the St. Francis CatholicChurch in Brookhaven and took a special interest in their recentbuilding restoration in the memory of his father, W.L. Behan Sr.,and his son, John M. Behan Sr.

Mr. Behan is preceded in death by his son John M. Behan Sr., ofBrookhaven.

Mr. and Mrs. Behan have six children: William L. Behan III,Patrick J. Behan Sr., Thomas H. Behan Sr., and Barbara Behan Smith,of St. Louis, and Dennis W. Behan Sr., of Brookhaven. They alsohave 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Behan was a loyal supporter of St. Louis University Schoolof Business. The Behan family requests memorials be made to the St.Louis University School of Business, Hill Behan Lumber CompanyScholarship Fund.