Cover photo for Jeri Mildred Bethea's Obituary
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1934 Jeri 2020

Jeri Mildred Bethea

September 27, 1934 — April 25, 2020

Geraldine “Jeri” Bethea, age 85, of Neillsville, WI died Saturday, April 25, 2020 at the Neillsville Care and Rehabilitation Center in Neillsville surrounded by her loving family.

 

Geraldine Mildred Harwick was born on September 27, 1934 in town of Dewhurst, Clark County, Wisconsin, the daughter of Ray and Josephine (Bohac) Harwick. She attended Dells Dam Grade School and graduated from Neillsville High School in 1952. Her class was the last to graduate from the old Neillsville High School. After graduating, she moved to Minneapolis and worked in banking. On October 24, 1955 she entered the United States Air Force, serving in Paris, France. While serving in the Air Force, she married Robert Bethea; they later divorced. Jeri served four years in the military, being honorably discharged on June 4, 1959. She then worked at Sealtest Dairy in Asheville, NC before moving back to Neillsville in 1970 after the death of her father. In 1971, she began a career with the Social Services department of the Clark County Courthouse. She joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard in 1972 and served for 17 years with the 32nd Infantry Brigade. During this time, Jeri also cooked at the Wildcat and Riviera restaurants and worked at the Hatfield Roller-skating Rink. She retired from the courthouse in 1995 but continued to work her cooking jobs for a few more years.

 

Jeri was a member of the United Methodist Church and most recently was attending the Calvary Lutheran Church in Neillsville. She was a former member of the Order of the Eastern Star. She enjoyed playing bingo, decorating her house for the seasons, attending her grandchildren’s sporting events and volunteering at the Hospital Auxiliary.

 

She is survived by two children, Robert Bethea Jr. and Joseph (Janine) Bethea both of Neillsville, WI, five grandchildren, Michelle, Nicole (Anthony) Erickson, Sierra Bethea, Morgan Bethea and Tucker Bethea, a sister, Helen (Virgil) Bohac of Hatfield, WI and a brother, Charles (Marlene) Harwick of Neillsville, WI, nieces and nephews and her beloved dog, Riley.

 

She was preceded in death by her parents, a daughter-in-law, Marlene Meyering, a grandson, Jason Meyering, two stepbrothers, Harry and Ray Harwick and a nephew, Paul Harwick.

 

Due to the COVID-19 virus a Memorial Service for Jeri will take place at a later date when gatherings are once again allowed.

 

Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com.

 

Gesche Funeral Home and Cremation Service is assisting Jeri’s family with Funeral arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeri Mildred Bethea, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, July 18, 2020

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Gesche Funeral Home & Cremation Service

4 S Grand Ave, Neillsville, WI 54456

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Graveside Service

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Starts at 11:30 am (Central time)

Neillsville City Cemetery

811 E 15th St, Neillsville, WI 54456

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Reception

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Clark Cultural Art Center (CART)

201 E 4th St, Neillsville, WI 54456

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Guestbook

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