Bernard Keith Behara passed on January 17, 2021. He was born on August 17, 1938, in Ponca City to Bernard and Claudine Behara. To his aunts, uncles, and some cousins he was affectionately known as Bernard Keith to differentiate him from his father. Keith learned the value of hard work and labor on both of his grandfathers' farms at an early age milking cows, stacking hay in the barn, and working harvest. He attended St. Mary's elementary school, East Jr. High, graduating from Ponca City Senior High School in 1957. Keith served our country beginning in May of 1956 joining the United States Navy Reserves. He entered active duty in the United States Navy in August of 1957. He served 3 years on the U.S.S. Orion out of Norfolk, VA., and 3 years total in the U.S. Naval Reserves when he earned his honorable discharge on May 12, 1962. Upon returning to Oklahoma from active duty, Keith went to work for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company as a Lineman. During his thirty-three year service to SW Bell he advanced through his career becoming a cable splicer, cable splicing forman, with his final 15 years serving as a Design Engineer. As a Design Engineer he and his two colleagues completed the drawings and layout of transitioning all telephone lines from on air poles to underground for all of North Central Oklahoma in Kay, Noble, Grant, and Garfield Counties. Upon retiring from Soutwestern Bell he then worked as a underground utilities locator for SM&P Utility Resources, often reviewing his own drawings to assist in finding underground telephone lines.
Keith role modeled the values he instilled in his children through his good works, leadership, and service to others. He volunteered for Meals on Wheels, Chamber of Commerce, Po-Hi Tip-Off Club, and Ponca City Kids Inc. Keith served many years as an assistant baseball and softball coach for Darin, Wanda, and Malinda's teams. Beyond his leadership in the Navy, Keith was a board member for Ponca City Kids Inc., and served on the board for over 20 years for the Ponca City Bell Federal Credit Union, serving at different times to the elected positions of President, Vice President, and Secretary.
Keith married Wanda Sue Hill on August 20, 1966. Celebrating 54 years of marriage they raised three children Darin Behara, Wanda Stein, and Malinda Farley. Keith's surviving family include son Darin and his wife Shelli, and grandchildren Laurin (14) and Luke (11) of Tulsa, OK. Daughter Wanda her husband Tim Stein of Piedmont OK, grandchildren Courtney her husband Ben Kline and great granddaugher Lettie (2) of Yukon, OK. Grandson Jeremy Stein and wife Holly of Ponca City, OK. Grandson Hunter Stein of McPherson, KS. Daugther Malinda Farley her husband Joe grandchildren Tanner and Trinitie of Weatherford, Texas. Keith is survived by his 5 sisters and one brother. Sister Opal and husband Gerry Grimley, Lois and husband Melvin Thomason, Mary Fredricks, Connie Liberton, brother Max and Rosanna Behara, sister Claudia and Bob Rock. Keith is survived by 4 sisters-in-law Bonnie and husband Vern Adams, Barbra Condit, Peggy Hill, and Ina Sue Hill. He Keith is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and great nieces and great nephews throughout the world. Many of his nieces and nephews have often said if they ever needed anything they new they could go to Uncle Keith for help or assistance.
Keith was preceeded in death by his wife of 54 years Wanda Sue on December 30, 2020. His father and mother Bernard and Claudine Behara and his father and mother-in law Charles and Bonneta Hill. Keith's brothers in-law Marion Fredricks, Charles E. Hill, Jerry Hill, Jim Condit, Quinton Shacklett, sister-in-law Sharon Hill. Sadly she was proceeded in death by nephews Westin Hill, Travis Behara, and niece-in-law Tracey Hill.
The Catholic Mass for Rite of Christian Burial for Bernard Keith Behara is pending with Grace Memorial Chapel with Father Zac Boazman officiating. Inurnment will follow in the St Mary's Section of Odd Fellows Cemetery at the Columbarium. Services will be live streamed. Go to www.gracememorialchapel.net and click on Keith Behara page and scoll to bottom of page to view.
The family requests in lieu of flowers contributions be made to St. Mary's Catholic Church Homebound Meals Program, Ponca City, OK. Make checks payable to St. Mary's Catholic Church with Homebound Meals listed on the memo.
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