Michael J. Behan of 12 Harrison Avenue Newport RI died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on July 14th, 2012. He was born in Newport to the late James K. Behan and Margaret Burns Behan.
After graduating from De La Salle Academy in 1945 and foregoing an athletic scholarship to Dartmouth College, he enlisted in the Navy and was a veteran of World War II.
He returned to Newport in 1946 and worked with his father in the building trades. After working for several other local contractors, he became the Director of Buildings and Maintenance for the Newport School Department. After retiring from the School Department in 1989, he went to work with his sons at Behan Brothers Inc., where he remained for over 20 years until his death.
He is survived by his wife, Helen Donohoe Behan, his twelve children and their spouses, Margaret Jones of Middletown R.I, Patricia Brady of East Providence RI, Michael J. Behan of Middletown R.I., Mary Sheehan of Tacoma Wa., William Behan of Newport RI, Christopher J. Behan, Esq, of Newport RI, Peter Behan of Newport RI, Andrew Behan of Newport, RI, David Behan of Tiverton RI, Brigid Gomes of Newport RI, Dr. Katherine Behan of Philadelphia, PA, Barbara Howlett of Portsmouth R.I. as well as thirty grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.
He was the brother of the late James K. Behan Jr., and Barbara Behan Booth.
He was a proud, active, and life long member of the Dennis E. Collins Division of The Ancient Order Hibernians where he was a Past President and the recipient of the first Hibernian of the Year Award. He was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Boys’Clubs of Newport County, a communicant of St. Augustin's Church, and an avid supporter of the Newport Rugby Football Club with the Newport Rugby Football Club Player of the Year Award named after him. He was, a devout, loving father and grandfather and the last surviving member of the Harrison Avenue Horseshoe Club.
Big Mike as he was called could be seen traveling around his beloved Fifth Ward on his scooter or attending the annual St Patrick's Day parades awaiting the arrival of the U.S. Navy. He will be missed.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at St. Augustin Church, Carroll Avenue in Newport at 10am. Burial will follow at St. Columba Cemetery, Middletown,RI.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday July 17, 2012 at the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St., Newport from 4-8pm.
In lieu of flower’s donation’s in Mike’s name to the St. Augustin’s Church Building Fund, 2 Eastnor Road, Newport, RI 02840