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Obituary: Joyce Phillip Bethge

Joyce Phillip Bethge

Joyce Phillip Bethge of Shelter Island, NY, passed away peacefully on May 8, 2009. Born in Port Washington on Dec. 17, 1932 to James Reid and Marion Young Phillip, Joyce Evelyn was raised there with her older sister Patricia (Axtell). She married Victor “Pete” Bethge in 1953, who survives her after 56 wonderful years of marriage. Pete and Joyce, who both graduated from Port Washington High School, became engaged after only three dates. As a Navy wife, she gave birth to their first child in Leavenworth, KS. They eventually settled in Glen Head and became long-time members of the Sea Cliff Yacht Club.

Joyce attended Muskingum College in Ohio and was an honorary alumnae of Webb Institute in Glen Cove, recognized for her many years of dedication and volunteer work with the school and alumni association.

Active in the local community, Joyce served as president of the Glen Head Elementary School PTA and worked with the Citizens Advisory Council at North Shore High School. She was honored for her service to the Salvation Army where she served for several years as the president of the Nassau County Women’s Division.

A mother of four, Joyce nurtured a strong and loving family. She was predeceased by her eldest son, Jamie, and is survived by daughters, Melissa Shepstone, Penny Zahn and son Robert. She leaves three grandchildren, Matthew, Mark, and Nicholas Zahn.

A loving and caring lady, she developed a wide circle of life-long friends. People of all ages were drawn to Joyce because she enjoyed and accepted people as they were. At their Red House on Shelter Island she hosted many pancake breakfasts, pot-luck dinners and indulged her husband’s sailing regattas.

A service in remembrance of Joyce will be held at the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, North Ferry Rd., on May 19 at 11 a.m. Donations may be made in her name to the All Faith Youth Group, PO Box 612, Shelter Island, NY 11964.