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Kenneth Behymer

Nov 3, 1936 - Jul 29, 2017
ObituaryShare A Memory

 Dr. Kenneth Behymer, 80, of Yakima, passed away July 29, 2017 following complications of a stroke. He was born in Warren County Ohio on November 3, 1936 to Samuel and Ella Behymer. He was raised in Mason, Ohio graduating from Mason High School in 1954 after which he joined the United States Air Force.  His first assignment was medical core training at Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. He was then transferred to Ladd Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska where he was employed in lab, X-ray, tuberculosis surveillance and education which took him to the Bush villages in remote Alaska. Dropped off by plane he was given a tent to live in and a ring of bologna to survive on and would be picked up when weather permitted. His equipment was rustic and he ended up processing his film in salt water. After service at Ladd he was transferred to George Air Force Base in Victorville, California where he was trained in helicopter medical rescue. Following honorable discharge from the Air Force he entered Ohio State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Physiology. In his junior year of undergraduate studies, a friend was preparing to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and convinced Ken he should take it as well. He scored in the top 2% of the nation and was accepted into the Ohio State School of Medicine. He completed his first year of medical school during his senior year of undergraduate studies and received a medical degree from OSU in 1965. 

Ken interned with the United States Public Health Service in Norfolk, Virginia. His residency was also taken with the United States Public Health Service at the University of Washington where he served as Chief Resident. The Alaska Native Health Service recruited him to serve as Chief of Medicine in Anchorage. He spent two years in their employ and then opened his solo practice in Internal Medicine. He retired in 2000 following a stroke. 
In 2006, Dr. Behymer moved to Yakima, Washington, where he taught at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, providing education for the next generation of physicians.  He will provide his final lessons through the University's Gift of Body program where his body was donated at his request.
He was a member of Nu Sigma Nu fraternity and Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical fraternity.  His professional associations included President of the Alaska State Heart Association; the Board of Directors for the Alaska State Diabetes Association, Alaska State Cancer Society and the American Medical Association.  He was also a member of the Alaska State Medical Association and the Anchorage Medical Society.  He served as Chief of Staff at Providence Hospital in 1973 and Director of Education in 1978.  Ken offered professional consulting for the Alaska State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and Social Security Disability. 
His time with Social Security would take him back to the villages to provide physicals for disability determinations. 
Kenneth married Gail Benjamin on September 27, 1975 at Christ Lutheran Church in Yakima, Washington and attended Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Anchorage, Alaska where they were charter members. Ken served as President of their Council.  He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Sam. He is lovingly survived by his wife Gail, a sister, Patricia Sanders, three brothers, Robert, Joe, and Gail Behymer, and his six children: Dr. Laura Jones, Cindy Dougherty, Kurt Behymer, Dr. Meghan Lindstrom, Matthew Behymer, Courtney Petersen and thirteen grandchildren. 
Ken was a private pilot who enjoyed hunting and fishing. He loved his family, patients and medicine and that love was returned in full measure. 
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 11:00 a.m. at Central Lutheran Church 1604 West Yakima Avenue.  A second service will be held on November 3, 2017, 5:00 p.m. at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Anchorage, Alaska. 
To share a memory with the family, please visit www.brooksidefhc.com
“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity”

Funeral Information

Funeral service

Sep 27, 2017:11:00 AM

Central Lutheran Church