- Monroe L. Bethea
- Date of Death:
Dec 16, 2009
Monroe L. Bethea
Greenfield, MA-Monroe L. Bethea, 51, of 10 West St., died Wednesday (12/16/09) at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.
He was born in New Bedford, MA on January 24, 1958 the son of Monroe and Delia (deSouza) Bethea. He graduated from Apponequet High School in 1976 and received his Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He had been a resident of Florence prior to moving to Greenfield in 1992.
Monroe was a counselor for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts D.M.R. for 15 years. Previously, he owned and operated River Valley Rest Home in Florence. In his early adult years, Monroe worked for the US Forest Services, fighting wildfires in CA.
He was a member of Second Congregational Church.
Monroe was a deeply loved and treasured person to all who were fortunate in knowing him. A true renaissance man, he had a remarkable scope of interests and passions. He loved traveling with his family, and taking in the natural beauty of our world. Monroe especially enjoyed camping trips and he made a science of gourmet campfire meals. Monroe also took joy and satisfaction in doing all manner of jobs. When work was needed on things ranging from Halloween costumes to home repairs, Monroe always chose to put his hands and his heart and his mind into the project. While he may have been more humble about these things, we take comfort when we see, all around us, evidence of his heartfelt care. Monroe had talent and passion for music, both as an audiophile and an artist. He played both acoustic and electric guitar, and recently brushed up on holiday songs to have the family sing along to at the Christmas gathering. He enjoyed attending live performances of varied genres, from the Grateful Dead to classical music; dance and Red Sox games (he was devout!); and recently Foo Fighters and Cracker. Monroe loved books and operated an on-line bookstore. He learned to restore old books, and collected rare and out of print science fiction. A baker extraordinaire, he created delectable treats to be enjoyed during a holiday or birthday. He was extremely concerned about our environment, and developed interest and knowledge in alternative energy and green technologies. He worked hard, usually 2 to 3 jobs at a time, and in all of his work, the unifying theme was helping others. Above all else, Monroe loved his family and took tremendous pleasure in being Rylee’s papa. He was so very excited and supportive as he assisted in his daughter’s college search, and he was looking forward to helping her launch into the next phase of her young adult life. The intangible gifts he has left his wife, daughter, family and friends with allow his essence to exist and are proof that love endures.
Survivors include his wife, the former, Valerie A. O’Connell, a daughter, Rylee R. Bethea at home, his mother and step-father, Delia and Roy Thomas of East Freetown, MA, a brother, Arthur Bethea of East Freetown, MA, a sister, Deanna Daley of Avon, MA, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Michael and Jacqueline O’Connell of Hatfield, three brothers-in-law and several nieces & nephews.
Services will be Monday at 10:30 a.m. in the Second Congregational Church with the Rev. Armand Proulx, pastor, officiating. Burial will be at the convenience of the family.
Calling hours will be Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Kostanski Funeral Home, 220 Federal St.
Memorial contributions may be made to Rylee R. Bethea Educational Fund c/o Greenfield Savings Bank 400 Main St., Greenfield, MA 01301
Sympathy message available at www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.