Emil Frederick Bethke, age 91, of Greenfield, died Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008, at Buffalo Hospital.
He was born May 6, 1917, in Rockford Township to Albert and Emma Bethke. Emil was baptized July 1, 1917, by the Rev. William Beiswanger of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover.
He was instructed in the Lutheran Catechism and confirmed in the Christian faith at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Hanover by the Rev. Beiswanger June 8, 1930. His memory verse was taken from John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringest forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.”
After confirmation, Emil attended and graduated from Buffalo High School in 1935.
He was joined in holy marriage to Dolores Sieloff March 2, 1946, at Salem Lutheran Church in Greenfield by the Rev. W.P. Haar Jr. Together, they farmed on a dairy farm in Greenfield, which was Dolores’ home place. The Lord blessed this union with four children: Gloria, Al, Byron, and Ruth.
Emil is survived by his children, Gloria (David) Kramer of Gibbon, MN; Al (Aggie) Bethke of Greenfield, MN; Byron Bethke of Otsego, MN; and Ruth (Tom) Zellmer of Menasha, WI ; 13 grandchildren, Joshua, Rachel, Jeremiah, and Rebecca Kramer; Aaron (Jennifer), Aric, and Andrew Bethke; Aaron A.J. Bethke and fiancée LeighAnn, Cassandra, and Tyler Bethke; and August, Eben, and Gretta Zellmer; one great-granddaughter, BrookLynn Bethke; and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Dolores Dec. 30, 2007; his brother, Otto; and his daughter-in-law, Judy Bethke.
The funeral service was Saturday, Nov. 29 at 3 p.m. at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Greenfield.
Visitation took place at the church Friday, Nov. 28 from 4 to 8 p.m., with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m., and continued Saturday afternoon one hour prior to the service at the church.
The Peterson Chapel in Buffalo served the family.