I will always have this piece of my heart that smiles when I think of you.

On Friday morning, November 1, life changed. It was on that morning we lost our colleague, Jeff Behrends. Jeff was a member of the Lancer faculty for 20 years. He was also one of those special people who everyone loved. He was a kind, generous human with an enthusiastic and contagious smile.

Jeff had a gift for teaching. He knew how to get students talking and make them feel comfortable. John Cascio said it best, “Jeff couldn’t hide his secret – he cared.” He was attentive and knew how to engage. He made it known that each and every student mattered.

Jeff shared a special friendship with his fellow teacher, Jim Vandenberg ’74. We all know that true best friends don’t just come knocking on your door every day. They are a once-in-a-lifetime find. A best friend is more like family – when they entered your life things just clicked. They add spontaneity to regular life, listen to your fears and celebrate your joys – they make a person feel more complete. That was Jeff and Jim. Midway through the year, Jim made the decision it would be his last year teaching. He felt it was the right time to move on.

We’ve lost a lot this year – more than imaginable, more than seems fair – but we continue to hope every goodbye brings a hello. ◆

Jeff Behrends October 2, 1965 - November 1, 2019