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Dr Olav S Behrents
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Birth: Dec. 8, 1872
Mandal kommune
Vest-Agder fylke, Norway
Death: Dec. 8, 1936
Cook County
Illinois, USA

Dr. Olav S. Behrents was born December 8, 1872 with the name Ole Berntsen, the fourth child of Bernt Gerhard Olsen and Jessine Marie Govertsdatter. Ole had several siblings:
Govert Villiam (1866-died as infant??)
Ole (1868-1868)
Hanna (1869-1871)
Hanna (1875-1908 - stayed in Norway)

At an early age, Ole was determined to serve in the mission field and knew that the best opportunity to prepare for this goal was by attending schools in the United States. He emigrated in 1893 at age 21, on one of the earliest immigrant ships to arrive at the newly opened Ellis Island. Twenty years later, he would name his first son, Ellis Gordon, to mark this monumental moment in his life.

Very early in his new life in the US, he decided to change his name to something more American. He adopted the name Olav S. Behrents which was sometimes officially misspelled with a "Z" which he declined to correct. Shortly after completing his ministerial studies at Red Wing Seminary in Minnesota, and medical studies at Rush Medical College in Chicago, Olav met and married on June 17, 1902 Susanna Fortney from Soldier's Grove, WI. They left immediately for the mission field in China under the auspices of the United Lutheran Missions, where he was to specialize in eye treatment and surgery, and general surgery. They stopped in Norway so that his new wife could meet his family. There she gave birth on September 16, 1903 to twin boys, Atley Charles and Sanford Fortney Behrents. Susanna died the same day and both boys died less than a year later in Norway.

Dr. Behrents continued on to Kioshan, Honan, China where he built the American Lutheran Hospital and a mission home. On his first furlough back in Chicago he met Ida Johnson, a young nursing student from Wiota, WI. They were married August 27, 1908 and returned to China where they lived off and on for the next 20 years.

In 1927 Dr. and Mrs. Behrents and their five children returned to the United States and set up a practice in Three Rivers, MI. Just nine years later, after a steady decline in health, Olav died on his 64th birthday at Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago, IL. He was buried at Mount Olive Cemetery in Chicago on 11 Dec 1936.
Family links: 
  Ida Johnson Behrents (1884 - 1974)
  Grace Marion Behrents Anderson (1912 - 1980)*
  Ellis Gordon Behrents (1914 - 1997)*
  Carol Iola Behrents McElroy (1916 - 2007)*
  Alice Beulah Behrents Bjorlie (1918 - 2006)*
  Paul William Behrents (1923 - 2007)*
*Calculated relationship
Mount Olive Cemetery
Cook County
Illinois, USA
Plot: Sec LU, Lot 112-East
GPS (lat/lon): 41.94773, -87.79362
Created by: Connie Ferris
Record added: Apr 25, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 89116229
Dr Olav S Behrents
Added by: Connie Ferris
Dr Olav S Behrents
Added by: Connie Ferris
Dr Olav S Behrents
Cemetery Photo
Added by: David M. Habben
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Born in Norway
- Reader2
 Added: Dec. 31, 2015

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