MADISON—Gordon LeRoy Bethke, age 74, of Madison, passed away on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 at his home surrounded by his wife and children. He was born on April 1, 1943 in Madison, the son of Alton and Pearl Bethke. He married Susan Thysse, daughter of John and Alice Thysse, on Aug. 14, 1965 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Madison. He was married to his high school sweetheart for 52 years. A man of faith, he was an active member of Abiding Shepherd Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin.
Gordy graduated from Madison East High School in 1961. A proud Badger, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in engineering in 1965 and spent his professional career in Madison-area businesses including John Deere, Oscar Mayer, City of Madison, Thysse Printing, and State of Wisconsin.
Second only to his faith in God, Gordy’s foremost love was his family. Nothing made him happier than to spend time with his wife, children, grandchildren, and granddogs. He loved his cabin in Adams County, his daily bicycle ride on Madison streets and trails (3,000 miles last year!), sitting on his front porch, and playing cards, eating out, and boating on Madison lakes with his wife and dear friends. Gordy also gave his time to area organizations including Habitat for Humanity, voting polls, and his church.
Gordon is survived by his loving wife, Susan; his daughter, Jennifer Muffick (Edward Drewitz) of Waterford; his son, Joel Bethke (Christine) of Watertown ; grandchildren, Cameron, Lauren, Kayla, and Logan; sister, Barbara (David) Mince. sisters-in-law Shirley Vandall and Mary Bethke, brother-in-law Jay (Pat) Thysse, nieces and nephews Michelle (Dennis) Dillinger, Christopher (Tip) Vandall, Scott (Kerri) Mince, Jason (Kristin) Thysse, Julia Thysse, and many dear friends. Gordon was preceeded in death by his brother, Terry Bethke.
The family would like to thank the medical professionals at Dean Health Systems, Turville Bay, and Agrace Hospice Care for their compassionate and constant care.
A memorial service will be held at ABIDING SHEPHERD EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, 406 W. Cottage Grove Road Cottage Grove, on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, beginning at 11. Visitation will be held at the church on Friday from 9 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Abiding Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church.