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Jacqueline Florence ‘Jill’ Bethke

MISSOULA – Jacqueline Florence “Jill” Bethke, of Missoula, passed away peacefully on Friday, July 20, 2012, at Community Medical Center.

She and her twin brother, Jack Myers, were born in Butte to Walter H. and Florence R. Myers. She attended McKinley Grade School, Butte High and continued education with a focus in music at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., and the University of Montana (until she was called home to take care of her mother, who was quite ill). She was an accomplished singer and throughout her years played the bass drum, flute, piccolo, piano and organ.

She married Bill Bethke, the love her life for 58 years, in Butte and they lived a short time in Yuma, Ariz., and Hamilton, and settled in Missoula. Jill worked at Interstate Lumber in Missoula for a time and then stayed home to raise her three daughters. She later went back to work at Prescott School as a teachers aide and then became a part-time secretary at Messiah Lutheran Church and was also one of church organists for many years.

She enjoyed her friendships, golfing, bridge games, hiking and annual trips with family to Glacier National Park. She was a loving wife and mother and took very good care of many friends as well. She also loved animals and enjoyed and cared for many family pets over her lifetime.

Survivors include her husband, Bill Bethke; her three daughters, Susan (Klas) Hightower of Missoula, Jackie Larson of Missoula and Barbara Bethke of Clearfield, Utah; her twin brother, Jack W. Myers of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.; two nieces and a nephew, and their numerous children and spouses.

She was very loved by family and friends and put up a brave front to the end.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, July 26, Messiah Lutheran Church, 3718 Rattlesnake Drive in Missoula. We ask anyone who wishes to send a remembrance to please make a donation to her church, Messiah Lutheran, or to a charity of your choice.

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