Helen D. Bethke
Helen Dorothy Bethke, 88, of Williamsburg and formerly of Dundee, Illinois passed away peacefully, Sunday, January 13, 2019 at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.
Helen was born on Thursday, August 28, 1930 to the late Paul and Helen (Erdman) Brockman in Rockford, Illinois. Helen attended high school for a period of time in Cranford, New Jersey before moving to their home in Dundee, where Helen graduated from Dundee High School in 1949. She continued her studies at Valparaiso University.
As a child, Helen and her family would spend their summers at the family cottage in Hayward, Wisconsin. They would arrive the day after school was out and would be joined by their cousins. Helen remembered those times with great affection over the years and would continue the tradition with her own family.
While attending Dundee High School, Helen met Loren K. Bethke. They became fast friends, began dating and would marry on July 30, 1950 in St. Charles, Illinois. They continued to live in Dundee where Loren had taken over the family business, Bethke Clothiers, Inc., a men’s clothing store, where Helen would assist Loren. Although she was of great help at the store, her greatest joy was in being a wife to Loren and a mom to her sons Craig and Scott. She was active in the Dundee community, especially the Dundee Women’s Club, of which she served as president. She also was the founder of Club 70 in Dundee, a dance club for couples, which is still very active. Helen enjoyed being a member of a bowling team for many years. Loren and Helen enjoyed years of boating on the Fox River in Illinois and later at their retirement home in Michigan.
Helen is survived by her husband of 68 years, Loren; their sons, Craig (Linda) of Williamsburg, Michigan and Scott (Karen) of Fenton, Michigan; grandchildren, Robert (Jackie), Paul (Ashley), Richard (Renay), Brock (Ashley), Eric (Ashley), Breanne (Joe) Kowalski and Alex; along with nine great grandchildren. Helen was preceded in death by her parents and a sister Phyllis (Armand) Bethke.
The family is planning a celebration of Helen’s life in the spring of the year. For those who may wish to remember Helen by way of a monetary donation, the family would suggest a charity of one’s own choosing.
Please visit Helen’s tribute page at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to share your favorite memories of Helen with her family.
The family is being cared for by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Traverse City, Michigan.