DR. WILLIAM BETHEL, CLASS OF 1974
Dr. William “Bill” Bethel passed away on March 16, 2018 at his home. He was 69.
Dr. Bethel was born on Nov. 21, 1948 in Wichita, Kan., to Robert and Audra Bethel. They moved to the Seattle area when he was in the fifth grade. He graduated from Foster High School and attended the UW, where he found his passion for being a dentist and helping others. He opened his practice in 1974 in Renton, Wash., and for 44 years considered his staff and generations of patients as family. He was highly respected by his staff and colleagues for his high-quality dentistry. He was known as a loving and passionate person in his professional and personal lives.
Dr. Bethel is survived by his children Nathaniel, Nicholas, and Justin; sisters Leanna Janssen, Jeanne Watkins, and Babs Buchanan; brother-in-law Larry Laughlin; niece and nephews Jan Quick, Craig and David Janssen, Brad Miller, and Derek Schultze; and family friends Jim Bergstrom and Bob Catton.(Seattle Times)
DR. CECIL M. FITZGERALD, CLASS OF 1974
Dr. Cecil Michael “Mike” Fitzgerald died peacefully on Feb. 5, 2018 in Ketchikan, Alaska. He was 77.Dr. Fitzgerald was born on Dec. 28, 1940 in Seattle. He met his future bride, Judith Anne Spendlove, while singing in the choir at Olympia High School. They were sealed in the Cardston Alberta Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1960 and continued singing together for the rest of their lives. During their early married life, he served as a lieutenant in the Navy, as both a naval aviator and an instructor. He served three tours of duty in the South Pacific, receiving the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze stars, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
After graduating from the School of Dentistry and later from the University of Minnesota with an MPH, he moved his family to Utah, motivated in part by the dream of singing in The Mormon Tabernacle Choir with his high school sweetheart. For 20 years, the couple sang with the choir, making multiple tours that took them around the world. He served as the dental health director and the assistant medical director for the Utah Department of Health.
Dr. Fitzgerald had a beautiful tenor voice and was a captivating performer. He was known for singing his personal rendition of If I Were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof. He enjoyed designing and building things and was an expert at refinishing woodwork. He loved the sea and was a gifted captain. He realized a lifelong dream of taking an extended voyage up the Inside Passage to Alaska in 1992 with his wife and children and their spouses as his eager, devoted, and admiring crew. When his beloved wife passed away in 2009, he decided to sell their condo in Utah, buy a handicap-accessible boat to live on and head for Ketchikan, where he performed an “Encore” (the name of his boat) to his Life With Judy (the title of his memoir), continuing the tradition of nautical exploration with his family.
He was ambitious and humble. He was generous and eager to serve and accept others. He loved his posterity without boundaries. He had a brilliant mind, understanding and exploring physics, history, current events, and Mormon doctrine with a wondrous curiosity. He had an indefatigable faith in his Heavenly Father and his place in the eternal realms that informed everything he thought and did. He faced muscular dystrophy without complaint, always exuding great faith, gratitude, and a joyous outlook. As he realized that he was fast approaching the end of his mortal life, he declared, “If I look back, I see joy. If I look ahead, I see joy.” Adored and admired by many, a friend to everyone he met, he is forever Our Captain to those who loved him.
Dr. Fitzgerald is survived by his children Michael (Kathy), Daniel Cecil, Rebecca (Brian) Gardner, Rachel (Jesi) Chapman, and Kathleen Anne (Jordan) Needles; 25 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and siblings Geri (David) Robnett, Robert E. and Kelly (Steve) Barker. He was preceded in death by his wife, Judith; granddaughter Sabrina Anne Needles; parents Robert Emmett Fitzgerald and Ruth Bertha Geck; and sister Patricia Baker. McDougal Funeral Home)
DR. DENNIS A. GALE, CLASS OF 1974
Dr. Dennis A. Gale died on Oct. 7, 2014. He was 66.
Dr. Gale was born in Tacoma, Wash., on July 7, 1948. He graduated from Charles Wright Academy. After receiving his DDS degree, he practiced in Bellingham, Wash., for 33 years, then retired in 2008 after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He touched many people with his spirit and passion for life. He was an enthusiastic entertainer, always singing, storytelling, or sharing his wisdom.
Dr. Gale is survived by his wife, Cheri; three children; five grandchildren; his brother, Todd; and a large group of extended family. Published in Bellingham Herald on Oct. 14, 2014.