Francis X. Behegan passed away peacefully at his family’s side in San Dimas, CA on Wednesday September 7th, 2016. Born in Baltimore of Irish Catholic Immigrants Timothy Joseph Behegan and Josephine Gaherty Behegan on January 17th, 1921, baptized Francis Edward, and confirmed Francis Xavier, Frank was the brother of nine (Timothy, Mary, Beatrice, Josephine, Ann, Daniel, Newton, and Grace), husband of one, father of one, and grandfather of two. Frank is survived by his son Frank Melville Behegan, daughter-in-law Karen Voelkening-Behegan, and two grand daughters, Olivia Jean Behegan and Samantha Harriet Behegan.
Frank will be remembered for his quiet, sweet nature, gentle humor, boundless generosity, and selfless devotion to his family and country. As a youth Frank enjoyed boxing and playing in the minor leagues. During World War II Frank answered the call of duty by serving as a Marine on the Pacific front where he became a Japanese Prisoner of War. After his release and return home he was awarded 2 Purple Hearts. In honor of his service he was gifted his most prized possession, a baseball from Tony Lazzeri signed by all the players of the Yankees 1927 Murderer’s Row ball team. Frank went on to earn 2 advanced degrees. He became a mechanical engineer and started a lifelong career at Westinghouse Electric in Baltimore.
On October 3, 1953 in the town of Easton, MD, Frank married Jean Peirce of Johnstown PA. The couple settled in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, had their first and only child in 1960, and became lifelong friends with their neighbors on Sweetser Road. Every year, the Behegans hosted an annual neighborhood Christmas party that was not to be missed. Frank’s favorite pastime was golf, a career that culminated in a Hole in One in 1998 and an invitation to be inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame. Frank was inseparable from his pipe and will be remembered fondly within the wafting aroma of any pipe tobacco. Frank expressed his love by generously sharing his time and innumerable thoughtful gestures and gifts with family and friends throughout his life. Frank moved with his son and family to California in 2004 to their chosen adopted home in Sierra Madre, where he made many new friends, adults and children alike, even in his 80s and 90s.
In a final act of generosity, Frank donated his body to a local medical school for student education. Not only a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, friend, and patriot, Frank was also a surrogate Grandpa to countless children, and will be fondly remembered and missed by all whose lives he touched. An informal memorial service will be held at his family’s home in Sierra Madre, California on Saturday September 17th. Donations in Frank’s name may be made to AMVETS (American Veterans) or the British Home in Sierra Madre.