Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
As a young man, Arnie Weirup had his sights set on working on the family farm, but that was when the farm crisis of the 1980’s was going on. Being the youngest of five kids, four boys and a girl, the family farm wasn’t big enough.
The funeral director in his hometown of Maquoketa suggested Arnie consider a career as a funeral director. Arnie followed the advice, enrolled in the Dallas Institute of Funeral Services in Texas, and completed an internship at a funeral home in Cedar Rapids.
Fred Behner was running Behner Funeral Home in Fairfield by that time, and hired Arnie in fall 1989. While some remodeling was being done at Behners, Arnie met Larry Keller, who then introduced Arnie to his sister-in-law Denise Mullikin. They hadn’t been dating long when they decided to get married. They were married in 1992 and are parents to Kyle, Krystal and Kayla.
Arnie purchased the business from Fred in 2012 after working for him for 23 years. Instead of changing the name to Weirup Funeral Home, Arnie decided to honor Fred and his dad, Weston, and keep the name Behner Funeral Home.
Arnie and Denise’s goal for Behner Funeral Home is to continue to serve families at one of the most difficult times of their lives while keeping the family owned atmosphere. He wants to make sure that everybody has healthy grieving.
Denise and Arnie appreciate their dedicated staff which includes, Patricia Redinger, part-time funeral director and funeral assistants, Joan and Jim Salts, Dave Goehring, Dennis Smithburg and Ray “Doc” Woody.
When Fred saw that cremation was soon going to be the main form of service in the funeral industry, in 2003, he add an on-site crematorium to provide an additional service to Fairfield and the surrounding communities. Cremations services account for more than half of the firm’s services.