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June 5, 1956 – March 26, 2023

Agnes Bridget Bethke, age 66, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on March 26th, 2023, due to cancer. She was born June 5th,1956, in Buffalo, Minnesota to Leo and Bernadine Larson. Aggie met Alvin “Al” Bethke on a blind date set up by dear friends Cindy and Randy Zimmerman, after which Aggie decided to take cake decorating classes in Al’s community to find excuses to spend more time with him. She married her friend and love, Alvin Emil Bethke, on October 21st, 1978. They raised three boys in Greenfield, Minnesota and were blessed with seven beautiful grandchildren.

Aggie loved to uplift others. She sent cards and gifts for every occasion to every single loved one, often filled with glitter and confetti. This kept her closely connected to family and friends near and far. She often baked amazingly delicious treats for those dear to her and cherished providing books and learning activities for her grandchildren. Her hands were rarely still. Aggie’s grandchildren brought a richness to her life and filled her days with joy, soccer games, school performances, and love.

Aggie was also willing to trek across the country (and sometimes across the world) to make new memories and show her love and support to others. Whether it was attending endless ballgames as the Biggest Fan in the stands for each of her sons, whitewater rafting in Montana to celebrate her husband’s 60th birthday, going on a daring hot air balloon ride over the mountains of North Carolina, or touring the breathtaking sights of Italy, she loved every new adventure.

For 46 years Aggie worked for Buffalo Hospital in Buffalo, Minnesota. It suited her servant heart. She supported so many of the Buffalo Hospital programs and showed up for her community through volunteering at the Wise Penny, helping to organize the Pink Street Party, and serving on Ladies’ Aid at Salem Church in Greenfield, Minnesota, where she and her husband were members. Her kind, strong yet gentle spirit, could be felt by all those who surrounded her. Her life was a living example of how Jesus teaches us we should treat others.

Preceded in death by parents Leo and Bernie Larson, parents-in-law Emil and Dolores Bethke, nephew Joshua Kramer, brother-in-law David Kramer, and sister-in-law Judy Bethke.

Aggie is lovingly survived by her husband, Al Bethke; her three sons and two daughters-in-law, Aaron (Jennifer) Bethke, Aric (Taniya) Bethke, and Andrew Bethke; grandchildren, Aaden, Teagan, Emmett, Fio, Luca, Melody, and Zachary; siblings and their spouses, Bertha (Dan) Woehler, Cathy (Gary) Hedlof, Denise (Brad) Pietig, Evelyn (Paul) Wurm, Florence (Keith) Paumen, and Gerry (Kim) Larson; siblings-in-law and spouses, Ruth (Tom) Zellmer, Byron Bethke, and Gloria Kramer; and her many nephews and nieces. Aggie loved and touched each of these deeply and is alive through each of them.

Please join us in celebrating Aggie’s life on Wednesday, March 29th, from 4:00-7:00 PM at Peterson Chapel, 300 Main Street North, St. Michael, MN 55376. Additional reviewal will take place Thursday, March 30th at 10:00 AM, with funeral services to follow at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9655 Pioneer Trail, Loretto, MN 55357.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

  1. Allina Health Cancer Institute
    1. Checks written out to: Allina Health Foundation
    2. Memo: Allina Buffalo Cancer Care Fund
    3. Mail to: Buffalo Hospital, 303 Caitlin Street, Buffalo, MN 55313
  2. Salem Member Assistance Grant Fund
    1. Checks written out to: Salem Member Assistance Fund
    2. Memo: Salem Member Assistance Fund
    3. Mail to: Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9655 Pioneer Trail, Loretto, MN 55357


8 Guestbook Entries

  1. Sandie Matrella

    Peace and love to you and all your family Al. May good memories bring you comfort. I am so very sorry for your loss. God Bless!

  2. Mona Volden

    I’m so sorry to hear about Aggies death. She was a valued coworker for so many years and has been missed. Prayers for comfort and many wonderful memories.

  3. Hatti

    I had the pleasure of working with Aggie at Buffalo Hospital. She was truly one of the most kind, caring and genuine coworkers I have ever worked with. She will be missed by many. Keeping her family close in my prayers.

  4. Nancy Lewandowski (related to Maureen Larson née Sullivan)

    I met Agnes when she visited our family Newport RI for at least one maybe 2 summers when she was a young adult and I was a teenager. She was so much fun and so kind and I was tasked with being her tour guide a couple of times and loved it. She really enjoyed the history and beauty of Newport so to learn now that she was an adventurer and liked to travel in her life is wonderful. I am not surprised to read that she was so giving to others. Even though my memories are about 40 years ago now I still so fondly remember her and share your sadness at her passing.

  5. Linda Sainsbury

    So honored to have worked with Aggie for 20 years. She was a shining light at Buffalo Hospital. My heart goes out to the family she so adored. Rest In Peace Aggie—you will be missed.

  6. Linda Sainsbury

    So honored to have worked with Aggie for 20 years! She was the shining light for Buffalo Hospital and she will be missed . My heart goes out to her family she adored so much. Rest In Peace Aggie!

  7. Rita Varner-Otness

    I am so sorry to hear of Aggie’s death. What a great lady. Truly enjoyed working on school activities with her as our children were growing up together. I am sending my deepest sympathy and prayers for the families peace and strength at this difficult time.

  8. Ruth Ernst Vogt

    Alvin, I didn’t know Aggie but am sure she was a wonderful person. Having grown up with you at Salem, may God grand you peace


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