We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Merced Location
Beatrice Margaret Hunter (nee Ross) passed away at Emanuel Medical Center – Turlock in the early minutes of November 20, 2021. She was 91 years old and was known to most people as “Betty”.
Born in 1930, and raised primarily in the London borough of Lambeth, she described her early childhood as the last-born of four girls as idyllic. Ironically so, it seems, given the entire family and generally most Londoners would endure many hardships during World War II. Betty was one of the thousands of children voluntarily evacuated from London and sent to live in safer locations, in both England and Wales, with complete strangers. She described those war experiences at length in a short memoir she published in 2005. As expected, WWII had a large impact on the whole of the United Kingdom as well as young Betty, who didn’t fully return home from her 1940 evacuation until 1942.
At the age of 14, instead of continuing on to a trade school, Betty elected to enter the workforce. She worked in London initially and also in Scotland, briefly when sent there by her parents for safety during the war. Toward war’s end, she resumed working in London, enjoying her membership in the Young Conservative’s Party, and living with her parents until marriage to her only husband, Joseph C. Hunter, after a 6-month courtship. They married in April 1952, and in February 1953 Betty and her American, active-duty military husband left England forever for a new home in the USA. Already pregnant with their first child, they lived first in Philadelphia, PA and later had three more children after relocating and residing for seven years in Milwaukee, WI. In 1961 the family was transferred to Germany, where their last child was born in Frankfurt while they were stationed at Hanau au Main. Returning state-side in 1964, for what would be their last relocation during their marriage, the family settled in Colorado Springs, CO.
Although Betty spent the last 50 years of her life in California, Colorado held a special place in her heart. It wasn’t only Colorado’s beauty, so new and different from her prior homes, it was also a time of more significant changes in her life. It’s there where she finally learned to drive a car, she also returned to the workforce, and ultimately chose to end her 15-yr marriage. She never remarried and single-handedly raised all five children teaching them the importance of hard work and overcoming hardships, like it or not. Along with displaying a strong work ethic, she shared her love of family heritage, reading, animals, and a hearty laugh over a good joke.
Betty came to CA through a transfer within the Army/Air Force Exchange and worked at Castle Air Force Base for many years. After leaving that position other notable employers were The Kendall Company, Stahl Manufacturing and lastly Wal-Mart Corporation, from which she retired in 2007. Upon her retirement, Betty enjoyed spending time with family and friends, reading, knitting, and always any good garage sale.
Our mother was the last remaining member of her immediate family, the only one to live in the USA, and will be respectively remembered with love. She is survived by all her children, Kevin and John (and Gina) Hunter, Bernadette (and Pete) De Los Santos, Michele H. Payne, and Rossean (and Leland) Hunter, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Her last of many loved pets preceded her in death and will be interred with her.
You are invited to join us for a Celebration of Life to be held at 11:00 AM on January 7th, 2022, at New Life Community Church in Atwater, CA. The address is: 2124 First St., Atwater, CA 95301.
Please observe any CDC safety protocols while in attendance.