Donald Bethke, age 75, of Alexandria, Minn. passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020, at the Knute Nelson Short Term Rehab facility. A celebration of life will be planned at a later date for immediate family.
Donald Frederick Bethke was born May 23, 1945 in Rochester to Walter and Bernice (Wieland) Bethke. Donald graduated from Waseca Ag High School in 1963. He married Carol (Sattre) Johnson in May 1965.
Together, Donald and Carol had two children, James and Sally.
Donald was a hardworking individual with a strong work ethic. He owned and operated a dairy farm in Elgin before moving to Balsam Lake, Wis. in 1978. He then continued his self-employed lifestyle as a construction worker while also maintaining a horse ranch on Half Moon Lake for a short time.
Later in his life, Donald married Sandy (Carlstrom) Bethke in December 1996. Donald and Sandy made many lifelong friends while living in Stacy, Minn. as well as when they moved to Arizona. The couple spent much of their time volunteering at their local church. Donald was a handy man and enjoyed farming, fishing, hunting, and valued the look of a well-maintained yard. Donald and Sandy moved back to Alexandria in 2016 to be closer to family.
Donald is survived by his wife, Sandy, and children: James Bethke, Centuria, Wis.; Sally (Jesse) Ortman, Burnsville; Lori (Roger) Shimon, Hugo; David (Tammy) Petschl, Centerville; Jodi Petschl Case, Lake Elmo; Todd Petschl, White Bear Lake; as well as nine grandchildren Elizabeth (Nicholas) Hoag, Emily Bethke, Savannah Varner, Ella Ortman, Abbey and Tyler Shimon, Brandon Petschl and Eliana and Cullen Case; one great grandchild Victoria Hoag; one brother Harold (Gail) Bethke and four nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.