Robert Bethje, M.D., age 91, passed away on Friday, November 29, 2013. He was predeceased by his wife, Maria (Vatral) Bethje on November 18, 2002 and by his parents, Robert Paul Bethje and Elisabeth Augusta (Lieder) Bethje. He is survived by his daughter, Susan Leslie Bethje and partner Shannon Michaels and sons, Robert Eric Bethje and Alan Randolph Bethje. Also surviving are sisters-in-law, Margaret Major and Doris Leskovich; niece, Caroline Leskovich; and his friend and caregiver for the past 11 years, Margit R. Walters of Montrose, PA. Robert was born in Braunschweig, Germany, November 15, 1922 and was brought to New York as an infant by his parents in 1923. He grew up in New York City, attending elementary school and Yorkville Junior High School. He passed an exam to enter Stuyvesant High School and graduated in 1940. He then worked in a bank and attended the evening session of the City College of New York, becoming a full-time student in 1943 and graduating with a B.S. degree, Cum Laude, in Biology in 1945. He then entered New York Medical College and also taught biology in the evening session of CCNY between 1946 and 1948. After graduating from New York Medical College in 1949 with his M.D., Robert came to Johnson City, NY to intern and take a surgical residency in Charles S. Wilson Memorial Hospital. Robert joined the U.S. Army
Medical Corps during the Korean War
as a First Lieutenant in 1951 and was discharged as a Captain in 1953. During this time he was stationed in Germany as the Medical Officer for the 30th Field Artillery Battalion. In 1950, Robert became a Diplomate of the National Board and then in 1958, a Diplomate of the American Board of Surgery. He practiced surgery in Ideal, C. S. Wilson, and Lourdes Hospitals and retired in 1984. Robert was the Assistant Treasurer of the Broome County Medical Society in 1964, Vice President in 1965, and President in 1966; President of Medical Staff at Ideal Hospital from 1973 to 1976; Chief of Surgery at Wilson Memorial Hospital from 1971 to 1977; and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He was also a member of the Endicott Rotary, Vice President from 1980 to 1981, Director from 1981 to 1984, and President from 1985 to 1986. Robert was also on the Board of the Broome Tioga Association for Mentally Challenged Children, now Achieve, and he was a member of St. Michaels Greek Catholic Church. Robert's avocations included painting, photography, fishing, and hunting. Funeral Services will be held Thursday 8:30 a.m. from the Allen Memorial Home, 511- 513 East Main St., Endicott and at 9:30 a.m. at St. Michael's Greek Catholic Church, 298 Clinton St., Binghamton, where a Divine Liturgy will be celebrated by the Very Rev. James Dutko. Entombment will be in Vestal Hills Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the Allen Memorial Home Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m. with a prayer service at 4:30 p.m. conducted by Rev. Fr. Dutko. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in Robert's memory my be made to Achieve, 47 Riverside Dr., Johnson City, NY 13790 or St. Michael's Greek Catholic Church.