Long-time Gustine resident Betty Hatcher was honored by the Gustine Historical Society Sunday, Sept. 15, with an open house at the Gustine Museum.
Friends, family members and local dignitaries were on hand to honor Hatcher. The following biography was provided by the Gustine Historical Society.
Betty Mae Hufstetler Hatcher was born in the Newman Hospital on Feb. 7, 1929, the daughter of Helm and Ellen Nielsen Hufstetler. Her grandparents, the Nielsen family, were pioneer Danish immigrants who came to the Gustine area in 1890 and were dry land farmers. Her sister is Mary Ellen Tabler of Fresno.
She attended Cottonwood (Clay) School and graduated from Gustine Union High School in 1946. She then worked for attorney C.R. Perrier as his secretary. Later she worked at Avoset. While there, she met and married Elmer Hatcher, also from a pioneer family in Dos Palos. She has six children, Jim, Jack, Jerry, Jeff, Janice and Joanne; 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren with a 12th on the way.
While raising her own six children, she began babysitting for “dozens” more. She and her husband loved to travel in their RV and made many trips to Baja, Mexico and throughout California. They were married for 50 years before Elmer passed away in 1999.
She is a lifelong member of St. James Lutheran Church in Newman and the St. James Ladies Aid. She has served as a member of the church council, church secretary and also president of the Ladies Aid. Betty is an early member of the Gustine Historical Society and has served as recording secretary and as a member of the board of directors for over 30 years. Now, at the age of 90, she continues as an active church member and as an important member of the Gustine Historical Society, remaining involved in all its activities and events.