Robert E. “Bob” Bethards, 90, passed away on October 28, 2020, with family by his side in Zionsville IN; formerly of Mt. Carmel. He was born April 4, 1930, in Fond du Lac, WI, to Robert and Sara Bethards.
He grew up in Janesville, WI, and graduated from Milton College in 1953. That same year he married Norma Lorraine Deets and moved to Milwaukee, WI, where he began his 37-year career with the JC Penney Company. He was later transferred to Chicago, then Champaign, IL, and finally to Mt. Carmel in 1965.
Bob was a 32nd Degree Mason, a member of Ainad Temple of Shriners, BPOE 715 Elks, and was a 50-year member of the Rotary Club. Bob was a long-term member of the Wabash General Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, and served in various capacities for Wabash Valley College, including the Scholarship Committee which selected recipients of the Robert and Norma Bethards Scholarship, among others. He was on the Mt. Carmel Police and Fire Commission for many years. Bob played Santa in the Christmas Parade for probably fifteen years (although we don’t really know because it was a closely held secret). Bob particularly enjoyed the time spent with family and friends at their Mesa Lake cabin from 1973-1981. He was very proud of his three children and five grandchildren.
He had a great sense of humor and loved the people and City of Mt. Carmel.
Bob is survived by Norma, his wife of 67 years; children Ann (Randy) Burgess and Robert “Bob” (Pam) Bethards, William “Bill” Bethards; grandchildren Amy and Emily Zanetis, Elliot Sides (Lindy) Evan Bethards and Jesse Bethards; and great grandchildren Nicholas and Addy Sides.
He was preceded in death by his parents as well as his sister, Elizabeth “Betty” May and brother James “Jim” Bethards.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, June 26, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 512 N. Mulberry Street, Mt. Carmel, IL.
Memorials can be made to Shriners Hospital for Children or Wabash General Hospital Foundation. Envelopes will be available at the church or at Short Funeral Home.
Condolences may be made online at www.short-cunninghamfh.com
Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve the Bethards' family.
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Wabash General Hospital Foundation
1418 College Drive, Mt. Carmel IL 62863
Shriners Hospital for Children