Betty Jane Cullumber (Stephens then later Hutchison) age 95, passed away in her sleep February 1, 2019. Betty Jane was born at home on January 30, 1924 under a Crescent moon in the fertile San Juan Bautista Valley. She grew up and raised a family in the hills and plains of the Central Coast and was a lifelong resident of the Monterey Bay. In her youth she dove for Abalone at Jade Cove, hunted deer in the Los Padres National Forest, rode horses in the pinnacles, camped on the beach in Santa Cruz, picked apricots in Hollister and when duty called was an airline mechanic in Palo Alto during WW2. In the 1950’s she was a founding member of the American Legion Post 493 and taught school up in the New Idria Silver Mines. She raised 7 children & 10 grandchildren. But what she was known for best was the 48 years she clerked at Glenn’s General Store in Prunedale. Where she was a legend and an Icon. Prunedale Royalty. A constant presence in the community for more than half a century. She was a second-mother to many, a loyal and hard working employee, a dedicated citizen and a friend to all. Her soft- spoken nature somehow spoke to something in all of you and in that space love grew and grew and grew. From behind the counter Betty always had a twinkle in her eye, a laugh in her throat, a beaming smile and kind word for everybody. She loved her community and they loved her back. When she retired at 82 that little country store only made it another 7 months without her. After all, a body can’t go on when it loses its heart. Betty spent the last 7 years of her life with her youngest son Darrell Hutchison in Santa Rosa and their life together in those final years were a senior-citizens dream filled with friends, love, laughter and lots of adventures. Betty is survived by her 6 living Children, Robert Stephens Jr (Hollister), Richard Stephens (Prunedale), Michael Stephens (deceased) Linda Stephens-Smith (Colorado), Janet Stephens-Nicholson (Manteca), Tim Hutchison (Salinas) and Darrell Hutchison(Oakland), 10 Grandchildren and numerous great and great great grandchildren.
An informal gathering & final viewing will be held at Grunnagle-Ament-Nelson Funeral Home in Hollister on Monday, February 11 from 2-7, please stop by for a visit with the family and to give Betty one final goodbye. A public burial will take place the following day, February 12 at 11am. She will be laid to rest in the family plot in San Juan Bautista with a simple wake to follow at Dona Esther. Please join us. In lieu of flowers or donations please visit a family member or a friend in a nursing home. The gift of your visit today resonates long after you say goodbye.”