Obituary: Helen Vantika Bethke

Helen Bethke of Chelsea died on Feb. 15, 2013.

Helen Vantika (Rayment) Bethke, 103, of Chelsea, formally of Ann Arbor, died on Feb. 15, 2013.

She was born to William and Minnie Rayment on April 8, 1909, in Ann Arbor, where she lived her entire life. She was the sole survivor of her siblings: Percy (Edna), Merrill (Vie), Donald (Marge), Thurlow (Betty), Estella (Hazen Figg), Nettie (Gunnell, Parks) and Mable (Joseph O'Donnell). She has many loving nieces and nephews.

Helen married Emil Carl Bethke (deceased) on Aug. 31, 1930. They had three children: Bill (Nancy), Nancie (Gary Dresselhouse), and Judi (Jack Erwin); and six grandchildren: Bob (Carlin) Dresselhouse, Becky (Bob) Nauss, Carrie (Jay) Barosso, Jenny (J.C.) Campbell, Brad Erwin and Derek Erwin.

She had 12 great-grandchildren: Andy (Amanda) Dresselhouse, Danny Dresselhouse, Courtney and Alex Bertoia, Morgen and Erik Barosso, Spencer and Blake Campbell, Tyler Erwin and Kaelyn Erwin.

A special niece, Lois Bethke Brown, was a part of Helen's household and spent vacations at Otsego Lake in Gaylord with the family.

Helen was a lifetime member of Bethlehem United Church of Christ, where she taught Sunday school for years, was a member of the Auxiliary Group and Bible Study. She was an avid Wednesday night bowler, Girl Scout leader at Bach School, and worked the voting polls at Angle School for many years.

Helen enjoyed traveling to Frankenmuth and Lake Columbia to watch the water activities and wildlife. She loved family reunions, visiting with her friends at Tiara Beauty Shop, receiving cards from traveling friends, and visits with friends reminiscing her golden memories of growing up on Gott Street and raising her children on Koch Street.

Most recently Helen enjoyed her new friends and the wonderful staff at Silver Maples in Chelsea.

At Helen’s request, cremation has taken place. A private family service will be held.

Donations in Helen's memory may be sent to the Sunday School Fund at Bethlehem United Church of Christ.

Arrangements by Cole Funeral Chapel in Chelsea.


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