Dr. Blair Rice Behringer, former resident and Orthopaedic Surgeon in Tuscaloosa, AL, passed away on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 in Huntsville, AL, after a long illness. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the 12 noon funeral service on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at Ridout's Southern Heritage Funeral Home in Pelham, AL. Interment will follow the 2 p.m. committal service Tuesday at Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, AL. Behringer is survived by his wife of 51 years, the former Barbara Nan Cooke; six children; and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one granddaughter. Behringer was born May 23, 1934 to George and...
Dr. Blair Rice Behringer, former resident and Orthopaedic Surgeon in Tuscaloosa, AL, passed away on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 in Huntsville, AL, after a long illness.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the 12 noon funeral service on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at Ridout's Southern Heritage Funeral Home in Pelham, AL. Interment will follow the 2 p.m. committal service Tuesday at Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, AL.
Behringer is survived by his wife of 51 years, the former Barbara Nan Cooke; six children; and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by one granddaughter.
Behringer was born May 23, 1934 to George and Frances Behringer in New York City. He attended primary school in New York, and then Andover for high school. He spent summers in Smallwood, NY, and in Bar Harbor, ME, volunteering at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
After high school, he spent several semesters at MIT before leaving to enter the U.S. Air Force for pilot training in 1956. He was too tall to fit the cockpit of a fighter jet and instead flew B-49s and B-52s through the end of the Korean Conflict and the early Cold War. He was involved in 24-hour missions and as a select crew member, and took part in early trials of the Ground Alert program.
Behringer left the military in 1961 to complete his Bachelor's Degree in Invertebrate Zoology at the University of Missouri, where he met Barbara Nan, a nursing student from Wellsville, MO. They were married on August 11, 1962 and remained in Columbia where he attended medical school and completed his medical internship.
Behringer returned to the Air Force as a Medical Student in 1966, went to Vietnam as part of the Volunteer Physicians for Vietnam program, and completed a Pathology fellowship at the University of Missouri Medical School between his third and fourth year of school. He was active in the Student American Medical Association, including holding the positions of National Treasurer and National President.
Behringer's first three children, all daughters, were born in Columbia: Melissa in 1965, Leslie in 1966, and Cheryl in 1969. He completed his residency in Orthopaedics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where a fourth daughter, Cassandra, was born in 1971.
He practiced Orthopaedics at Keesler Regional Medical Center in Biloxi, MS, where his first son, Brice, was born in 1976. He spent time at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, TX, before serving as hospital commander in Dyess AFB in Abilene, TX. He then served as Deputy Surgeon General for Air Training Command at Randolph AFB in San Antonio, TX. His final posting was served as Commander of the Regional Medical Center at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL, where his second son and last child, Gregory, was born in 1980.
During his tenure in the Air Force, Behringer was awarded the Legion of Meritorious Service Medal, the Bronze Starm the Legion of Merit, and other decorations. He retired from the Air Force in 1980, and settled in Tuscaloosa, AL, where he entered private practice as an Orthopaedic Surgeon. He made his home and his mark in Tuscaloosa, endowing the Behringer Distinguished Fellowship in Communications at the College of Communications and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama in honor of his two daughters, Cheryl and Cassandra, who graduated from there.
Behringer remained in private practice for 15 years before retiring to obtain a Master's in Public Health from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in 1993. After graduation, he went to work managing a Medicaid HMO in New Jersey until his final retirement in 1997. He stayed in New Jersey for a few more years before returning to Alabama in 2005 to be closer to three of his children who live in the area. He remained in Huntsville until his passing.
Behringer had a questing mind, always involving himself in a new project, skill, or hobby. His interests ranged from building vacuum tube televisions from parts, to flying model airplanes. He was an early adopter of the personal computer, purchasing a TRS-80 for his family's first machine and encouraging his young children to learn Basic. He taught himself Economics while his wife Nan was taking a course in the subject. Anyone who knew him, however, would have to agree that his proudest accomplishments were always his family and his children, all of whom have entered professional careers of their own, and include a doctor, two lawyers, and two MBAs.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Behringer Endowed Distinguished Professorship at the University of Alabama College of Communications and Information Sciences.