Fulkerson - Stevenson Funeral Home It's all about saying goodbye. Springan - Stevenson Funeral Home
Fulkerson - Stevenson Funeral Home
Springan - Stevenson Funeral Home
It's all about saying goodbye.
Laverne "Bobbie" Mae Bethke
April 30, 1929 - June 12, 2021

Place of Birth: Kief, North Dakota
Residence: Williston, North Dakota
Age: 92

LaVerne “Bobbie” Bethke, 92, of Williston, ND passed away Saturday, June 12, 2021 at the Bethel Lutheran Home in Williston. Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home of Williston is assisting the family

LaVerne “Bobbie” Mae (Fedorenko) Bethke was born on April 30, 1929 in Kief, North Dakota. She was “almost a May flower” as she told her family many times. She grew up on her family’s farm in a tightknit Ukrainian community. She received her nickname “Bobbie” by her uncles, who thought she was going to be a boy. The name stuck for the rest of her life! Bobbie had one brother Gene Fedorenko who she was always very close with and was the accompanist and sometimes a vocalist with him and a friend on a weekly Minot radio show. After graduating from Minot Model High School at the age of 16, she attended Minot State Teacher’s College. After receiving her teaching degree, she began teaching in Anamoose and Drake, North Dakota. Later, she also earned a master’s degree in teaching.

It was during her time in Drake and Anamoose that she met her husband, Wally. They were married on October 3, 1954 and made their home in Williston. They had three children: Kim, Tami and Lance. Bobbie stepped back from teaching full-time for several years to raise her children.

In 1968 she began teaching First Grade at Lewis and Clark Elementary. Bobbie loved music, both singing and playing the piano. Naturally, she directed the cherub and cadet choirs and sang in the adult choir at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran church for many years. Retiring from teaching after nearly 25 years in the Williston School District in 1991, she became a full-time grandma and part time substitute teacher. Bobbie loved taking care of her grandchildren. She was so proud of them, quick to tell anyone that she had “ten beautiful and intelligent grandchildren.” At her home, there were always lots of crafts, treats and trips to Hardees. Jumping on the couch was even permitted! In fact, some grandchildren even pretended to be too sick to go to school so they could stay at Grandma Bobbie’s house instead. Meanwhile, she continued to sing in the choir at Our Redeemer’s and travel with the Dakota Dimensions singing group. With Dakota Dimensions, she had the opportunity to perform in Branson, Missouri several times.

Bobbie loved teaching and had fond memories of her students that she shared often. After retiring, she continued to be a substitute teacher all over Williston, becoming the favorite of many students over the years. Despite being unable to substitute for the last several years, she officially retired on June 12, 2021.

Bobbie is survived by: her three children-Kim (Mark) Bekkedahl of Nampa, Idaho, Tami (Bruce) McNeil of North Oaks, Minnesota, Lance Bethke (Tracy Grubb) of Williston, her 10 “Beautiful and Intelligent” Grandchildren: Cally (Jay) Younger of Nampa, Idaho, Maycee (Kendall) Gielow, of Corvallis, Oregon, Hudson (Macie) Bekkedahl of Nampa, Idaho, Catie McNeil (Bryan Lesswing) of New York City, Tara (Wesley) Crouch of Seattle, Washington, Rob McNeil (Katie Francis) of Los Angeles, California, Courtney (Justin) Arneson of Billings, Montana, Cameron Bethke (Morgan Kuykendall) of Rosebud, Montana, Baily Bethke, and Sydney Bethke of Williston; and 5 Great-Grandchildren: Micah, Nathan and Isaac Younger of Nampa, Idaho, Bennett Arneson of Billings, Montana, and Brooks Crouch of Seattle, Washington. Her brother Gene (Elaine) Fedorenko, nieces Teri Taylor (Tim) and Julie Fedorenko, nephew Jim Fedorenko (Lori) and many cousins. Preceded in death by her husband Wallace (Wally) Bethke, and her parents Sam and Anne Fedorenko.

Preceded in death by her husband Wallace (Wally) Bethke, and her parents Sam and Anne Fedorenko.

Memorial Contribution
Memorials can be sent to Lewis and Clark Elementary School Read at Home Program in Williston or towards a scholarship for a graduate of Lewis & Clark School. Memorials may also be sent to the Choir Fund at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church.
Thank You
We would like to thank all the special caregivers and staff at Bethel Nursing and Rehabilitation for the love and care that they gave Bobbie.

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Kelsey Ginther (Williston, ND)
Jun 13, 2021
Prayers to the family of Bobbie. I had her for a first grade teacher and she was definitely one of my favorites. She also lived in my neighborhood so I got to see her outside of school too! Such a classy lady!
Joe & Karla (Halvorson) Jackman (Williston)
Jun 14, 2021
So many fond memories of Bobbie in the neighborhood! She was such a sweetheart! Truly one of a kind!
Jeanne Smith Knudsvig
Jun 14, 2021
Lance & family
So sorry for loss of your Mother may you keep her memories close to your hearts to help you through the days ahead... sending prayers for all of you!
Sincere sympathy
Char Borud (Williston)
Jun 14, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss. Bobbie always put a smile on my face I will miss her dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Maeve MacSteves (Williston, ND)
Jun 14, 2021
Sending much love to Bobbie’s family and friends. She was a beautiful lady with an amazing heart and I will always treasure the memories of Bobbie’s funny stories and cheerful greetings. What a treasure on this earth and now in Heaven.
Wanda Hanson (Williston )
Jun 14, 2021
Kim and family,
I send my sympathy in the loss of your lovely mother. I always enjoyed her when we were both going to the Episcopal church.
Lois Seeley (Assiniboia, SK)
Jun 14, 2021
Dear Kim, Tami, Lance - so sorry to hear of your mom's passing, please accept my condolences and prayers! Your mom was a favorite of our family when we visited at Bethel these past years. She always was happy to visit and always had a funny little saying and a big laugh to follow! Even the colors of her clothing and a pretty necklace to match were cheerful! She will be missed by so many. God's comfort and peace to your families.
Jan Sell (Fargo , ND)
Jun 14, 2021
Thinking of all of you during this difficult time. A life well lived. Steve and Jan Sell
Lanette Horack (Williston, ND)
Jun 14, 2021
Bobbie was my Neighbor for many years and became part of my family. My son Donnie was often over to play her piano. He never left empty-handed always coming home with a treat and a story to tell......prayers to the family
Denise Weyrauch (Ray, ND)
Jun 14, 2021
What a beautiful picture of Bobbie! I had the pleasure of knowing her while at Bethel. So active and full of energy. A very kind person.
Todd Hinricksen (Williston, ND)
Jun 14, 2021
She was a very nice lady and great teacher, although I attended Lewis and Clark,I didn’t actually have her for first grade, my younger brother did but she always remembered me by name even 45 years later.. Rest In Peace Bobbie!
Kathleen Key Imes (Williston)
Jun 15, 2021
Kim, Tammy, Lance & Families- I got to know Bobbie when she led our fledgling choir at St. Peter’s Church. She was so upbeat and enthusiastic, she made us sound great! She was an inspiration to alI. I extend my sincere sympathies to you for her loss. But my guess is that she is happily singing in heaven! She was the best.
Terry Haugen (Williston , North Dakota )
Jun 15, 2021
Kim, Tammi, and Lance. Prayers for comfort. My condolences on the passing of your mom.....
Katharine Gerrity (Boise, ID)
Jun 15, 2021
Dear Tami, Kim and Lance. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. I thought the world of your mother. She was always so kind and thoughtful. A wonderful lady. Kath and Paul Gerrity/Castrovillo
Jean Lindvig (Williston, ND)
Jun 15, 2021
Tami, Kim and Lance, my heartfelt condolences as you celebrate your mother's life. I got to know Bobbie while working at Lewis and Clark School. She never had difficulty with her classes because she commanded respect, even when challenged with some real hooligans! I know she changed so many lives as a teacher, director, friend and lover of children. May she rest in eternal peace. Jean
Shawna Kleven (Williston, ND)
Jun 16, 2021
I'm so sorry to hear about, Bobbie! I had many visits with Bobbie up at Bethel when Dad was there! She always had a story and a smile for whoever walked past her! Thinking of her family and friends!
Patty Wiens (Billings, MT)
Jun 16, 2021
Kim, Tammi and Lance, Our sympathy to you all. I have such fun memories of your mom being my Mom's traveling partner on their adventures visiting us when we lived back in the Washington, DC area. What a blessing it was to have her along keeping my Mom from getting lost! I always enjoyed visiting with her at Bethel also. May God hold you in His hands and give you peace knowing you will see her again.
Todd Hinricksen (Williston, ND)
Jun 16, 2021
She was a very nice lady and great teacher, although I attended Lewis and Clark,I didn’t actually have her for first grade, my younger brother did but she always remembered me by name even 45 years later.. Rest In Peace Bobbie!
Cheryl Lingenfelter (Williston, North Fakota)
Jun 16, 2021
There is an empty spot without Bobbie at Bethel-always a complimentary thing to say. One day I was trying to find her, and there she was, kneeling beside her bed talking to Jesus.
Kathy Gillman (Rapid City , SD)
Jun 18, 2021
Kim.Tammy and Lance and families. I am so sorry for the loss of your Mother and grandma! I remember her from the neighborhood growing up..such a beautiful soul!! Hold those memories close!!
Scott Shattun (Williston, North Dakota)
Jun 18, 2021
Had her as a substitute teacher many times over the years in school. She recognized my name and told me her and my grandmother had went to school together. She will be missed very much. RIP MRS BETHKE
Kevin anderson (Tulsa, Ok)
Jun 19, 2021
May your memories of her sustain you through your time of loss, until you meet again.
Debbie Hayden (Alexander, ND)
Jun 19, 2021
To the family and friends of Bobbi: I send my deepest sympathy to all. Bobbi was agood-hearted, fun loving Lady. I met her at the Senior Center. I was impressed by her. She was so pretty. And I loved that she drove herself (as many folks that came to the Senior Center rode the bus). She was so darn cute in her little red car.
I'm grateful to have known such a fascinating woman. May our loving God be with you all at this time.
Cindy and Jim Bastien (Williston , ND)
Jun 19, 2021
So Sorry for the loss of your Mom.
You had such a Beautiful Service for your Mom. She was and still is a Beautiful and Kind Mom.
Love Jim and Cindy Bastien
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