Leona F. Bethke
Leona F. Bethke, 98, Grand Forks and formerly of Upham, ND, died Tuesday, February 23, 2016 in Valley Memorial Home Woodside Village, Grand Forks, ND
Leona Frieda (Zurcher) Bethke was born December 22, 1917 at home in Pratt Township, North Dakota to John and Ida (Rindlisbacher) Zurcher. She was raised on her father's farm in McHenry County west of Upham. She was baptized on May 26, 1918 in Bethlehem church, Upham, ND and confirmed on Oct. 4, 1931 at Bethlehem church.
Leona attended elementary school in Russell and graduated from Minot High School. After high school she attended Beauty College at Bismarck, ND. She worked as a beautician before meeting her future husband at a dance, where he played in a band. On June 7, 1938 she married Ervin Julius Bethke and together they raised three children at their farm in Upham. She was an active member of her church and LWML. When her family was young she was a housewife, cake designer and raised and sold turkeys and chickens. She was an avid gardener and remembered for her crab apples and plums that she harvested every summer.
Leona enjoyed traveling, snowmobiling, skiing, entertaining, playing cards, dancing, and collecting dolls and Santas. She was known for her feisty personality, flair for fashion, and impeccable taste in decorating, and surrounded herself with beautiful things. Leona will be remembered for her generosity and love of her family. She provided many fond memories, especially of Christmas-time when her home became a winter wonderland.
She was preceded in death by her husband Ervin (1987), her parents; brothers, Elmer, John H., Paul, Arthur; sisters Ida Myers, Anna Randall, Margaret Rothchild and Esther Luscher. She is survived by her children, Gary (Gloria) and Glenn (Sandra) both of Grand Forks, ND and Margaret Ann Johnson, Moorhead, MN; 8 grandchildren, Tom (Beth) of North Oaks, MN, Todd (Lori) of Bloomington, MN, Pam of Grand Forks, ND, Paul (Suzanne) of Grand Forks, ND, Renae (Tim) Wilson of St. Paul, MN, Melanie of Minneapolis, MN, Nick (Brooke) Johnson of St. Louis, MO, and Tyler Johnson of Portland, OR; 14 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and her favorite dog, Pepper.
Funeral Services will be 10:00 AM Saturday, February 27, 2016 in Immanuel Lutheran Church of Grand Forks, ND. Visitation will be Friday from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM with a 7:00 PM Prayer Service in Amundson Funeral Home of Grand Forks. Burial will be in Sunset Memorial Gardens of Minot, ND. Memorials are preferred to St John's Lutheran Church of Upham, ND; Immanuel Lutheran Church of Grand Forks, ND; or Valley Memorial Home Woodside Village, Grand Forks. Arrangements are with Amundson Funeral Home of Grand Forks, www.amundsonfuneralhome.com.