Former Methodist president served community 

Oct 14

John Betjemann dedicated himself to bringing excellent health care to the Northwest Indiana community, his daughter said.

"He loved a challenge," Julia O'Brien said. "He enjoyed helping people. He was motivated by the desire to try to equalize things between (the hospital campuses). He felt strongly about delivering the same quality of care to diverse populations."

Betjemann served as president of Methodist Hospitals for 23 years, retiring in 2003.
O'Brien said her father was a champion for the less fortunate.

"He was passionate about standing up for those who are underserved and less fortunate," she said.
John Betjemann, Jr., 70, of Bradenton, Fla., and formerly of Valparaiso, died Oct. 2.
He is survived by his wife, Celeste Betjemann.

"Modest and principled, his work ethic and commitment to family and community were an inspiration to many," according to a prepared statement released by the hospital. "For 23 years he worked diligently to position Methodist as the prominent health care provider in Northwest Indiana." O'Brien said her father had a strong work ethic.

"He stood by his principles and treated everyone equally," she said. "I admired him because he was courageous and not afraid to have an unpopular view. He stood by what he thought was right."

Although he worked hard for the community, he also made family a priority, O'Brien said. "He was a great dad," she said. "He had a great sense of humor. He liked to be silly and goofy." Betjemann was a longtime member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Valparaiso.

"We grew up going to church every weekend," she said.

He loved to keep busy and work on projects around the house and could fix almost everything, she said. He also loved to exercise and keep himself fit.

She said Betjemann always wanted to know what his children were doing, and always attended their sporting events and school activities.

"He supported us completely," she said.

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