Former WJBC host Behrens passes

Ken Behrens (WJBC file photo)

The WJBC family is mourning the loss of one of its longtime voices.

Ken Behrens died Sunday. He was 71. For more than three decades ending in 2002, he hosted middays on WJBC.

Ken was known not only for his one-liners and comfortable style, but his many celebrity interviews. The long list of celebrities he interviewed on 1230 AM included George Burns, Natalie Cole, Ed McMahon, Bob Newhart, Tim Conway, Bobby Vinton, Bob Hope and countless others.

Ken had a way of making his interview subjects feel at home, but more importantly he made WJBC listeners feel welcome. His goal was to make you smile, and he was always successful.

He visited his old Greenwood Avenue studios from time to time, most recently just a few weeks ago. Despite fighting cancer for the past two years, his outlook–and his sense of humor–never failed, and as was the case on every previous visit, he left behind many chuckles.

On-air Ken was the same as off-air Ken. He became a friend to many, even if the encounter was only through a radio speaker.

To his wife Cindi and daughters Kim and Kate, thank you for sharing him with us. Our sincerest condolences are with you. We have many memories, and they are producing many warm smiles.

Service is 10:30 a.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church of Normal. Visitation is Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. at the church. Calvert & Metzler Memorial Home of Bloomington is handling arrangements.

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