The David Michael Bethune Memorial Fund

On Tuesday, September 4, 2012, Our beloved former CEO of Continental Airlines, Gordon Bethune, lost his younger brother, David Michael Bethune, in a tragic accident in Oolagah, Oklahoma.  

David was attempting to tow a disabled vehicle in a ditch on his property. The accident report said Bethune parked his Jeep, which was idling on a steep incline, near the disabled car.  At some point, Bethune walked behind the Jeep and it rolled backwards, striking him, before rolling off a cliff and stopping about 120 feet away, near the water's edge.  He died at the scene from massive injuries.

Great thought was given as to how best memorialize the brother Gordon loved so much while also showing our support of our former CEO through this very difficult time. 

As many of you know, Gordon loves New York's Central Park. We came up with this idea that if we adopted a bench in David Bethune's memory then not only are we all helping to maintain one of the over 9,000 benches that you find throughout Central Park but we are also providing a special memorial where Gordon could visit when he is at his apartment in NYC. In addition it gives us all a special bench to visit while we spend time enjoying all of the beauty and activities that Central Park has to offer.

The Adopt-A-Bench program was established in 1986 as a permanent fund to maintain and endow the care of Central Park's more than 9,000 benches and their surrounding landscapes. To date, more than 2,000 benches have been adopted.

In recognition of contributions to the fund, the Conservancy installs a plaque engraved with a personalized inscription memorializing David Michael Bethune at the location and the bench of Gordon's choosing.

When you choose to participate in the Adopt-A-Bench program, your philanthropic contribution makes you a partner in the ongoing work to sustain America's first and greatest urban park.

A portion of these funds ($280) will be utilized towards flowers for the memorial service which is being held on September 8, 2012.

Please help us make this memorial to David Bethune a reality by donating.  

Anything over an above will be donated to Wings4Kids in David's memory.

  • Ronald Rayle 
    • $25 
    • 102 mos
  • Irene Carle 
    • $25 
    • 105 mos
  • Kimberly Farnor 
    • $100 
    • 105 mos
  • Leah Fuller 
    • $100 
    • 105 mos
  • Gigi Evangelista-Givens 
    • $50 
    • 105 mos
See all


Mary Colleen McNally 
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