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Myrna Bethke
In Memory of
Myrna Lynn
Bethke
1957 - 2020
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Obituary for Myrna Lynn Bethke

Myrna Lynn  Bethke
The Rev. Myrna Lynn Bethke, Full Elder and District Superintendent in the United Methodist Church, died quietly on July 3, following a stroke. She was 63.
The oldest of 5 children, Myrna was predeceased by her parents, Lyman (Brud) and Marie Bethke, and 3 siblings: Brian, Susan, and William (Billy). She is survived by her husband, Charles (Drew) Burrus, her brother Robert, her adult children Christa Galvin and Daniel Galvin, their spouses, and 4 cherished grandchildren, along with numerous cousins and nieces and nephews.
Born in Trenton, NJ, Myrna was active in scouting and gymnastics in school. She developed a great love of the Manasquan, NJ, beaches from her many summers there, shared with grandparents, parents, siblings and cousins. She was a pre-med student before answering a call to ministry, obtaining her MDiv degree and entering the United Methodist clergy in 1982. She served 8 congregations as a pastor in NJ before becoming District Superintendent in 2014, supporting 60+ congregations in southwest NJ while working with her bishop and superintendent colleagues in guiding United Methodists in all of greater NJ. She had a passion for youth, mission, and social justice work, and was a hands-on participant in all those areas in her churches and at the Conference level. Possessed with a quiet strength and quirky sense of humor, she had a talent for coaching people of all ages and positions through times of difficulty, often without those people knowing exactly what she was doing.
After losing her youngest brother Billy to the 9/11 attacks, Myrna became an early member of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, an organization of family members of people lost to those events who joined together “to turn (their) grief into action for peace.” In 2002, as a member of that group, she joined another member to be part of an interfaith peace delegation to Afghanistan, to “spread a message of compassion and understanding.” She did so with great support from her congregation at the time.
Myrna worked hard to hold true to what it meant to have the title of “pastor”. She found great fulfillment in working hard to hold true to her title of “mom”. Her most beloved title was “grandma”.
All are invited to join our family for a LiveStream viewing via https://www.gnjumc.org/ on Saturday, July 25 at 1:00pm. Expressions of condolence may be sent to Drew Burrus, 37 Palomino Circle, Mantua NJ 08051. Memorial donations may be made to the Peaceful Tomorrows organization via their website www.peacefultomorrows.org, using the Donate Now option on their homepage, or to the Miracles Everywhere campaign of the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the UMC. Details may be found at the GNJAC website www.gnjumc.org, near the bottom right of the homepage. Donations may be made via their website, or by check payable to GNJUMC, 205 Jumping Brook Road, Neptune NJ 07753, with a memo “Miracles Everywhere / Myrna Bethke”.
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