OXFORD – Most people would never consider becoming a funeral director, but Steve Behe isn’t like most people. The son of a funeral director, Behe says he never seriously considered anything but following in his father’s footsteps.
On Oct. 1, the Oxford man celebrated his 40th anniversary as funeral director of Behe’s Funeral Home, the business which has borne his family name for nearly five decades.
“I grew up riding with my dad,” said Behe, who was in seventh grade when his family moved to Oxford in 1960, after his father, Judson Behe, purchased the State Street business from its previous owner, Lynn Seymour.
Behe still transacts business while sitting at the same small desk that Seymour used all those years ago.
While Behe is the first to admit that most people would eschew his chosen profession, he takes great pride in what he does. Particularly in the knowledge that he provides some measure of comfort to people struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one.
“That’s why I do what I do,” he explained.
In his four decades in the community, Behe has developed something of a reputation. And it is a reputation that has endeared him to many of those who have had need of his services.
You won’t find dark draperies or wall coverings at Behe’s, but rather plenty of natural light and walls richly papered in soft tones. For evening calling hours, the lights are turned up. Rather than traditional black hearses, the Oxford funeral home has signature cars in silvery gray. And until recently, Behe said, he didn’t even own a black suit.