Obituary – Smith Family Chapel
EXETER. It is with deep sadness to announce the passing of Betty Jean (Hylton) Stearns. She left this world peacefully on February 9, 2020, into the loving arms of Jesus. She was 92 years old. Betty was born to Walter and Mary (Pugh) Hylton in Fullerton, CA. She was the youngest, by seven years, of Walter and Mary’s seven children. Spending her childhood in Anaheim, she graduated from Anaheim High School and earned her Associates degree from Fullerton Junior College. While at Anaheim High School, she met her future husband, Stanley Stearns. They married in 1948, settled in Anaheim, and raised three children on their 10-acre chicken and citrus ranch.
Before Stanley moved his family to the Central Valley of Caifornia, Betty was a stay-at-home mom and busy farmer’s wife. She was an avid cook and loved to bake, can fruit, freeze vegetables from her garden, make her own soap, and sew her daughters’ dresses.
In 1965, the family moved to a 50-acre citrus ranch between Lindsay and Exeter. She started working for Exeter Elementary School District as a teacher’s aide in 1966. In 1967 she became the secretary to the plant manager at General Cable Corporation in Lindsay. She was promoted to a PacBell customer service representative and retired from General Cable in 1992. In her retirement, Betty didn’t slow down. She enjoyed her Bible studies at Exeter Church of God, volunteered at the Pink Ladies Thrift Store in Exeter, did bookkeeping for the family citrus ranch, delighted in tending to her roses and spending time with her grandchildren, and loved to travel with her husband Stanley.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Stanley, her three brothers, and three sisters. She is survived by three children: son, Charles (Patty) Stearns, daughters, Peggy (Arthur) Escobedo and Sheila (Joe) Gonzales. Her six grandchildren: Jennie (Dane) Clacken, Kristie Gonzales, Sarah (Raul) Tarin, Joshua (Yolanda) Escobedo, Joyce Escobedo, and Sierra Stearns. And four great grandchildren: Isabella Clacken, Matthew Tarin, Salvador Tarin, and Vidalia Escobedo.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for the excellent care Betty received at Manor House (Exeter), Glory Days Memory Care (Visalia), and Magnolia Park (Visalia).
Services will be held on Monday, February 17, 2020, at 11:00 AM at the Smith Family Chapel in Exeter, CA. She will be laid to rest next to Stanley, during a private burial, at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella, CA. www.smithfamilychapel.com.
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