American Veteran 04

John Walter Bethke Sr.

June 25, 1929 ~ August 21, 2020 (age 91)


John W Bethke, 91, of East Haven, passed away peacefully at his home on Friday, August 21, 2020.  He was the husband of the late Gladys A Bethke.  He was born in New Haven on June 25, 1929 to the late Edward and Casmiera (Baranski) Bethke. John was a gun designer most of his life working for Winchesters, High Standard and Mossberg. He later designed the family home in East Haven. John was a member of the New Haven Grays and American Legion. He retired from the Army at the rank of Captain. He was an avid Army West Point Football fan. He also played guitar, enjoyed polka dancing and golf, and maintained a beautiful vegetable garden for many years.  He was a great story teller with a keen sense of wit. Also John could be seen helping at many AAU tournaments helping his sons in various ways.

He is survived by his sons John Jr (Jack) Bethke and Steve Bethke.  He was also survived by his loyal lab companion Nicholas. He was predeceased by a brother Edward Bethke.

Special thanks to all the aides that helped him during the past 4 years, especially Shania and Daneka. We would also like to thank the East Haven Fire Dept for their help during this past month.

Family and friends may visit the Keenan Funeral Home, 238 Elm Street, West Haven, on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 from 4-7pm.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be given on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at Our Lady of Pompeii Church, 355 Foxon Rd, East Haven, CT at 11am. Burial will follow in All Saints Cemetery, 700 Middletown Ave, North Haven, CT.  To leave an online condolence please visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Walter Bethke Sr., please visit our floral store.


August 26, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Keenan Funeral Home
238 Elm Street
West Haven, CT 06516

Mass of Christian Burial
August 27, 2020

11:00 AM
Our Lady of Pompeii Church
355 Foxon Road
East Haven, CT 06512

August 27, 2020

12:00 PM
All Saints Cemetery
700 Middletown Ave.
North Haven, CT 06473

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