Obituary of John Mark Bethke
John Mark Bethke, 62, of Hemlock, our hardworking, proud, loving, and most faithful husband, dad, Papa, brother, uncle, and friend went home to be with the Lord on the afternoon of Monday, May 6, 2019 at his home. John was born in Saginaw County on July 7, 1956, the son of the late Herman Bethke and the former Arlene Schoof. He attended St. John Lutheran School and graduated from Hemlock High School with the Class of 1974. While at a wedding, he met the love of his life, Betty Bartlett. They were united in marriage on August 14, 1976. John found his love for farming at the young age of 16 and began working for local farmers; then later working for Hemlock Elevator/The Andersons for many years. A faithful servant of the Lord, John was a lifelong member of St. John’s, where he was very active and served on the church council. In addition to farming, his hobbies included Big John’s produce, cutting wood, keeping a family journal, word searches, and enjoying his own farm. Above all, family was always first and foremost with John. He leaves to carry on his legacy, his devoted wife of 43 years, Betty “Ma” and their three children, Abby Bethke, Emily (Nick) Scoles, and James (Alesha) Bethke. He was the most loving and supportive Papa, and will be forever missed by the lights of his life: Zoe, Wyatt, Ava, Taylor, Graham, Karlie, and Grace. John also leaves behind his brother, Barry (Linda) Bethke; father and mother-in-law, Clifford & Mary Ellen Bartlett; sister-in-law, Bonnie (Keith) Barko, along with many nieces, nephews, and countless friends. John was welcomed home to heaven by his mother, Arlene Erskine; father, Herman “Pa” Bethke; sister, Susan Bethke; brother, Ronald (Beth) Bethke; nephew, Benjamin Bethke, and Godson, Kurt Watson. John’s family will be present to receive visitors on Thursday, May 9, 2019 from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM and again on Friday, May 10, 2019 from 2:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Skorupski Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services (formerly Reitz-Herzberg), 1550 Midland Rd., between State & Gratiot. On Saturday, May 11, 2019, John will be taken to St. John Lutheran Church, 2290 Pretzer Rd., Hemlock, where visiting will continue from 10:00 AM until John’s 11:00 AM Funeral Ceremony. Pastor Philip Bigelow will officiate with burial to follow in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to St. John Lutheran Church. Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family online at www.skorupskis.com.