A photo of George C. Bethard

George C. Bethard

August 15, 1967 - September 1, 2019

          George C. Bethard, born August 15, 1967 in Wilmington, DE, passed away peacefully on September 1, 2019 in Roxana, DE, at the age of 52, after a 21-year battle with cancer.

          George had a love for all sports throughout his childhood and teenage years, with a special passion for football.  He bowled, was in the marching band and wrestled and played high school football at Wilmington High School, from where he graduated in 1985.  He went on to play college football at Salisbury University, where he graduated from in 1990.  George received his teaching degree and went on to teach history, first at Selbyville Middle School and then Indian River High School, where he became the head football coach.  He was named downstate coach of the year in 1999, coached the annual Blue/Gold football game and was named the Indian River District teacher of the year.

          George is survived by his parents, Cheryl and Louis Esposito and Linda and Charles Bethard, Sr.; brother, Charles (Chuck) E. Bethard, Jr.; children, Kathryn Paige Bethard and Christian George Bethard; half-sister, Ashley Bethard; 2 step-sisters, Crystal Penn and Michelle Cummings; and one nephew, Dylan Manuel.  He is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins.

          A visitation for family and friends will he held from 11 am until 1 pm on Monday, September, 9, 2019, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 North DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE, where a memorial service will be held at 1 pm.  Interment will follow in Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 North DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE.

          In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to: The funds for John Hopkins Medicine Department of Neurosurgery, C/O Dr. Henry C. Brem, 550 N. Broadway, 7th Floor, Suite 722, Baltimore, MD 21205 or Roxana Volunteer Fire Company, 35943 Zion Church Road, Frankford, DE 19945, in memory of George C. Bethard.

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64 Guestbook messages for George C. Bethard

  • My deepest condolences to all of you. George was a wonderful gentle man who loved his family. He was very supportive of them in their activities despite his illnesses. May he rest in peace. No one deserves it more.

  • So sorry for your loss hugs and prayers to your family. He will be forever your guardian angel. Love always. Amy Truax Colatriano

  • I an so very sorry for your loss. I will always remember George and his genuine kindness.

  • I’m going to miss you so much big brother. I love you. You put up a hell of a fight, now it’s your time to rest. ” Don’t try to boss everyone around in heaven big boy”

  • My deepest condolences go out to George’s family . I’ve know George and his family all my life . Grew up with George and had great times with him and his whole family. From going to his grandparents beach house in fenwick island to playing football in linden park behind our houses . To going down to Salisbury state to see him play football . I will greatly miss him . I loved him like my brother . My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family whom I love . Rip George till we see each other again !!

  • Lost my brother 😢

  • The Birch Avenue Boys. George Bethard , Chuck Bethard , Scott Carmean, Sean Starkey , Joe Schorah , George Schorah , John Magee , Ed Magee , Billy Husbands , Ken Pesta , Rocco Zecca, Joe Rybicki, Donnie Alexander , Todd Fisher,Troy Fisher , Joe Tom Bobby Ciafardo , and other friends like Gary Marshall, Jamie Davis , and countless other friends will sorely miss George

  • He was a great teacher I was always so excited about going to his class . Rip you will be missed.
    Heather Wilkerson

  • Mr. Bethard was my 7th grade history teacher back in the 1990s. I have funny memories of him dancing with the world globe that was on wheels, whom he called Globella! Once, we had to make flags of an assigned country for his class. On presentation day, he had all of us walk into our English teacher’s class and told us not to speak just to hold the flags. Our confused teacher looked at him and said, “what is this about?” He didnt miss a beat and told her it was a silent protest against her class. Of course he was kidding, thats what he was known around school for! His students loved him, and he will be missed by all who was blessed to know him. May God comfort you.

  • George was a great guy and a role model to many in Wilmington High and everywhere he went I’m sure. Peace & love to his family and loved ones.
    Julie (Pinder) Caputo

  • George so many fun times in High School like singing on the bus back from our games. Lost touch after HS but it seems like you did well for yourself. You were a good man George and the world and people around you will miss you deeply

  • Wow, man u we’re the best teacher EVER..WISHING THE BEST TO YOUR FAMILY..R.I.P MY BROTHER

  • Sorry for your loss of your son George my twin sister me we went to Wilmington high with George love Mary Anne Marie addair twins class of 1984 Wilmington high

  • I miss you brother George!

  • 😥 I knew Mr. George Bethard at two times in my life. First as a student at SMS where he was my history teacher. Fresh out of college, I remember him singing history facts to tunes to help us- the first time I was able to successfully memorize such dates and helping me realize that music is a learning style. Years later, as a teacher myself, I again met Mr. Bethard. This George was changed, having had brain surgery and undergone treatment. I found myself his teacher- coaching him through helping my students at Ennis- when he came from Easter Seals. His patience was shorter, but his desire to teach children was still strong. It was so hard to watch him struggle- a man I thought could conquer giants and who had been larger than life. I am sad that his life was altered at such a young age and I am sad that his family has lost such a great man. Rest peacefully, Mr. Bethard. Thank you for the memories!

  • So sorry to hear of George’s passing. I will always remember as a football manager/cheerleader at Wilmington High School his love for the sport and all sports! He was an extremely nice person with a personality of gold. I’m not surprised he followed Coach Kenny Hall’s footsteps and became a coach.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family… Daphne Y. Evans – WHS class of 1984.

  • So sorry yo hear of George’s passing. I will always remember him fondly. Rest in peace.

  • One of the best football coaches I’ve ever had. I will never forget you.

  • Heaven has truly gain an Angel! You were a remarkable man and will be greatly remembered. I was honored to be one of your students and later on one of your Physical Therapists!

  • I’m so very sad to hear of George’s passing. I have the best memories of George and Greg Myers while at Salisbury. Freshman year was a bit brighter because of him and his humor. My deepest sympathies for his family. He was truly a decent human being – Niki Dorn Pekins

  • I’m sorry for your loss. George was a good person.

    Lori Niblett
    Former Easter Seals Employee

  • Thank you for making a difference that will last many life times.
    Praying you feel a fuller type of love with God.
    May God comfort those left behind with love and strengthen them with faith during this difficult time.
    Love,
    A former middle school student

  • Sleep well my friend. May you rest in the arms of Jesus Christ. Our condolences to you and your family.

    Respectfully,

    Benita Lum-Jones
    Classmate WHS ‘85

  • Rest In Peace my friend.

  • Praying for the family

  • You were the best teacher! Rest peacefully and prayers for your family 🙏🏼

  • I am so sorry for your loss. I always liked Mr. Bethard. He slways had a smile.

  • On behalf of myself and so many other young men who’s lives Mr. Bethard touched I would like to offer my deepest condolences. He was my teacher, Wrestling Coach, and Football Coach. He may be gone but he is far from forgotten. I will never forget his good nature, positive attitude, or the lessons he imparted. He truly was one of the good ones. From singing to his globe in middle school to the last time he coached, he was always a mentor and a role model. Thank you for sharing him and I offer my prayers and sympathies to his family and friends.

  • I remember him from school he was a good teacher he will be miss RIP

  • Prayers go out to Georges family and to my former football alum. May you Rest In Peace my friend. Go Gulls

  • So sorry for the family’s loss. He was a great teacher. He will be missed.

  • I want to send my condolences to George’s family. I went to high school with him. So sad to see he passed. God bless! Mary L (Wiltsey) Risley

  • My condolences to the family, I to am a Red Devil c/o 84 and I was also part of the bandfront and he was someone I remembered as a very nice person. My he rest peacefully.

  • I remember him as a student teacher from SU in my 7th grade history class with Mrs. Mathais. Maybe it was 1988? We all had quite the chuckle when he appeared; a large man in a shirt too small and an even smaller tie …lots of perspiration. But I’ll never forget when he was allowed to take over his voice was bombastic. He told us about the Battle of Hastings and made it so funny. I’d never forget the date either,1066 ,because he paused and turned his head as if looking to an imaginary camera as said it so dramatically ….very very funny dude. I’ll remember him as the Chris Farley of history. Very sad to see he passed. So Sorry for your loss.

  • I remember George from my teaching days at Wilmington High School. It was a fine young man and well liked by fellow students and his teachers. God Bless all of his relatives in these very sad times.

  • George was always a pleasure to be around when we worked together at SMS. I remember one day he had the secretaries laughing hysterically at his antics–when he crawled into the display case outside of the office. When he announced that he was moving to teach at the high school around Christmas we played a tape of Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” and many were crying. He was so much fun and loved life! God bless you sweet man!

  • George was my daughter’s history teacher at Selbyville Middle School and they have said he was their favorite teacher. He made learning a fun experience for them and always had a smile. My sincere sympathy to his children and and family as I know he was a blessing to all who knew him. My prayers are with you.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. George was such a great friend many moons ago. I will cherish those memories.

  • My family and I are so sorry for your families loss. Coach Bethard, was such an inspiration to my family and in particular, my son Justin C. Blake. He planted and cultivated a love for the game of football in my son fueled with knowledge of the sport which he shared with Justin freely. We as a family appreciated all of the excellent advice he gave us as Justin went on to play ball at the University of Mississippi after graduating from high-school. We are glad that we had the opportunity to know him; he made a lasting and positive impact on our family; he was an awesome coach, a wonderful teacher, and a remarkable person.

  • Coach Bethard has always been and shall always be in my heart as a role model, teacher, & shining star.

    Forever thank you for your example & dedication to the kids ~
    1999, #61.

  • My deepest condolences to the family. Mr Bethard was a wonder teacher. He will be greatly missed.

  • GEORGE!!! “Heyyyyyy…” One of the good guys. One of my favorite patients. May you rest in peace George. My sincere condolences go out to all of George’s family and friends. He is missed.
    Laura, CRRN
    Encompass Health

  • Mr. Bethard was a truly awesome soul. I still frequently think about the impact he had on my life. May God surround your family during this time.

  • Mr. Bethard was a man beyond words. He was truly gifted as a teacher, coach and friend. Two of my children were blessed to have learned from him and enjoyed his ability to keep everyone laughing. There is no doubt the world has been a better place with George Bethard a part of it. He touched lives and encouraged people. His memory will live on through the memories we all share together. I will be praying for comfort for the entire family during the difficult days ahead.

  • I would like to offer my prayers and condolences to the family, I’m so sorry for your loss. George, I hope you know how many people you’ve influenced with your kindness. I have so many great memories of you and your brother growing up in Elsmere playing sports and going to school together.

    I would like to share a memory: Coach Grandell was upset because the offense was dominating the defense so Coach Grandell added a 12 to make it 12 on 11. All at once the defense sacked the QB twice and George got upset and counted the players and went over to Coach Hall complaining they had 12 players on the field and Coach Hall went over and screamed at Coach Grandell.

    That is just one of many memories I have of George.

    George you will be missed and it was my honor to call you a friend.

  • George’s life was far too short. He was a insperation to everyone he met. He was great father, brother, friend and son. He will be in our hearts forever. Love you George.

    Chuck and Gayl

  • Please accept my condolences. Mr. Bethard was a great teacher, role model and humanitarian. He will be greatly missed. Sending prayers, peace and blessings.

  • I just wanted to offer my sincere condolences on the loss of your son. Cancer really sucks, especially when it someone young like your son.

  • Rest in peace George, we’ll miss you at Roxana. Especially your sense of humor.

  • My condolences to all of George’s family members, friends, and former students and athletes. George represented Wilmington HS and Salisbury University well in everything that he did and was loved dearly by everyone that met him. “Beathard Ball” was an inspiration to so many of his students and players. Rest in peace my friend.

  • Sympathies to George’s family during this time. I cheered during the time he played football at SU. Great ball player and person. Many prayers.

  • Go rest high on that mountain my cousin and friend,,,,sore with the angles above,,,prayers to all of the family,,,we love and miss you George,,,,we know your safe in God’s hands. It is truly sad in our hearts knowing that you are not hear on Earth with us but we know you are hear with us in spirit, we will see you again g money.heather and I so dearly love you buddy

  • I am blessed and honored to have known George as a great classmate and a greater friend during our time together at Wilmington High School.
    My condolences go out to his family in this time of grief.
    God Bless,
    Tony Tucker (WHS ’83)

  • I was the school secretary at SMS where George got his first teaching job! I remember the year he was hired, we had several new teachers that year. It didn’t take long for us to strike up a friendship. I was the Assistant Principal’s Secretary and had plenty of room in my office for people (students) to sit so it was the gathering place after school for the staff! George was a regular, he would have everyone rolling in the in the floor with his contagious sense of humor! All the parties whether it be Christmas or just an impromptu get together. I left SMS before George went to to IRHS. I went to work at Howard T. Ennis School. After George had his first go-round with cancer our paths would cross again. But this time, it wasn’t the same, the old George had gone forever, he struggled to remember me, but said he did and week after week would remember my name, when he came to work. My friendship with him was more of a big sister one. Love you George! Hope to see you on the other side! God bless his kids and his parents and the rest of his family!

  • Prayers for his family and God bless.

  • Constantly praying for you all. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I know he was a legend, an amazing and inspirational man.

  • My condolences to George’s family. George showed everyone how to be a genuine good person. The kindness he showed others is what I will always remember about him. May the Lord welcome him home with open arms. Rest in peace George.

  • George will be dearly missed. He was a great coach and teacher. Rest In Peace George. Prayers and loving thoughts to the family.

  • I too am a graduate of Wilmington High School class of 85. He was always such a nice person who had a smile or joke for everyone. He was also a talent on the football feild, on which I was a cheerleader. He will be truly missed. My condolences to the entire Bethard family. God Bless.

  • Condolences to the family.

  • George will be forever missed by anyone who had the pleasure to have known him. He was an a person who always left a positive impression on you and his light in life will be hard to ever be replaced. Rest In Peace my friend!

  • So sorry for your loss big hugs

  • My condolences to the family. I went to Wilmington High with him. May he Rest In Peace. ❤️

  • George B. – great coach and a better person. Always put a smile on your face. RIP Marty Higgins

    Go Gulls!!