Charles Franklin Bethell March 28, 1920 - April 6, 2013 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:2, 4 Charles Bethell was born in Granite City, Illinois and graduated from Hannibal High School in 1937. He attended two years of college at Hannibal La Grange in Hannibal, Missouri, then went on to Kirksville State Teacher's College at the suggestion of a friend. During this time, he met his beloved, Nona Neet. Charles and Nona met at a church social in October, 1940, doing the serpentine. He walked her home that night - about two miles. They started dating after that. Both sang in the church choir and the Acapella Choir at school. Charles graduated in 1941, but before leaving, he pinned Nona. He went to teach music at Bevier High School and in 1942 he enlisted in the Marines. Charles and Nona were married on August 18, 1943, after Wednesday night prayer meeting. After a one night honeymoon, Charles returned to the base. They were stationed in Pensacola and Jacksonville before receiving orders to San Diego. He was sent overseas and upon his return, he was sent to Cherry Point, North Carolina. After his time in the Marines, Charles was called by God to the music ministry. He served as Minister of Music and Education at churches in Santa Ana, Long Beach, Bellflower, Pasadena and finally to First Southern Baptist Church in Bakersfield in 1956. While there, he directed all levels of choirs as well as the Associational Youth Choir. First Baptist Church in Oildale was the next stop before his final church, Temple Baptist (now known as Crossover Church of Rosedale). He served at all of these churches, while also serving the community at large by teaching the Developmentally Disabled at the Blair Learning Center until his retirement in 1980. Charles touched many lives in his teaching with countless students stopping by the house and/or calling him on the phone well into their adulthood just to keep in touch with "Mr. Bethell". Charles retired from ministry in 2001 but could be found singing absolutely any hymn played, up until his death. With Alzheimer's taking his memory of the mundane, nothing could take the memory of his love for Christ and his lifelong service to Him. Absolutely anyone who met Charles, saw Jesus in his daily living. He was the definition of a "good and faithful servant". He was known for his gentle and loving disposition. And those who knew him will attest that he never said an unkind word about anyone. He was a true gentleman. Charles went to his Heavenly Father on Saturday, April 6, 2013, peacefully and ready to be reunited with his Nona. He is now in his perfect, heavenly body, free from earthly struggles, and they both await the rest of their family to join them. We will miss him more than he can imagine and are so thankful for the 93 years our Almighty Redeemer allowed us to have him here on this earth. During their six plus decades of marriage, Charles and Nona were blessed with three children, two granddaughters, and two great-grandchildren. Charles is survived by his children - Deborah and Ken Noble, David and Judy Bethell, and becki whitson and Chuck Miles; his grandchildren - Kris and Ernie Leal, and Nichole and Tim Scanlon; and his great-grandchildren - Alexis Kate Scanlon and Ian Leal. If you feel led to honor this man of God, in lieu of flowers, please make your donation to his church, Crossover Church of Rosedale or the Kern County
which has a magnificent local program. The family would like to thank Donna Allen for her loving kindness in caring for Charles after Nona's death as well as the staff at Pacifica Senior Living - Memory Care and ProCare Hospice for the compassion they showed him in his last days. Visitation will be held at Greenlawn Mortuary on River Blvd. on Thursday, April 11th from 2:00-7:00 p.m. A celebration of Charles' life will be held Friday, April 12th at 2 p.m. in the Worship Center at Crossover Church of Rosedale at 18210 Rosedale Highway. In honor of his sweet tooth, an ice cream social and sweets bar will follow the service. www.bakersfield.com/obits
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Greenlawn Funeral Homes - Cemeteries - Cremations
3700 River Blvd.
Bakersfield, CA 93305
Published in Bakersfield Californian from Apr. 10 to Apr. 11, 2013