Betty Gwendolyn Clark Graham was born in Turlock, California in January of 1927 to Russell and Irene Triplett. Betty died at Alexander Cohen Hospice House in Hughson following a brief illness.
Betty was preceded in death by her long-time husband and love, Robert Elliot Clark (Bob), as well as her second husband, Welton Graham. She was also preceded in death by her older sisters, Evelyn Newburg and Marillyn Triplett and her younger brother, Andy Triplett. She is survived by her six children, Dana Clark (Karen), Thomas Clark (Janice), Nancy Owens (Thom), Dennis Clark (Carolyn), Raymond Clark (Marti), and Robert Clark Jr. (Cheryl). Betty is also survived by eight grandchildren, seven great grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.
Betty met Bob during WWII while he was stationed at Crows Landing Naval Air Force Base. Bob was a rear turret gunner on a PB4Y2 Privateer with the heavy bomber group VPB-118: the Old Crows. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Victory Metal, the Asiatic Pacific Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and several Air Medals. After the war, Bob and Betty were married in Reno, Nevada on July 27, 1946 and honeymooned in Lake Tahoe. They soon moved to Oregon where all of their children were born. Betty was a homemaker while Bob finished his degree in journalism before beginning work in the newspaper business.
Following Bob’s passing in 1965, Betty moved back home to Turlock to be near her family and took a job in payroll for the Hume Cannery, which was subsequently bought out by Tri-Valley Growers. She worked at Tri-Valley alongside her mother, Irene, and sister, Marillyn for several years until her retirement.
Besides raising five boys and a girl on her own, Betty was a friend and confidant to many of her kids’ friends. More than a few moved into the family home on Broadway or would just sit for hours with her, drinking tea and talking. She became “Ma Clark” to many. Betty was a budding artist, working mainly with pastels. She enjoyed beach combing, gardening, antiquing and doted on her grandchildren. Betty was also an avid volleyball player. Betty was an extremely loving person who will be sorely missed by her family and friends.
A Memorial Service will be held at Turlock Funeral Home, 425 N. Soderquist Road on Saturday, April 6th at 3:00 P.M. A family only grave site service will follow immediately after the service. Please leave your condolences at www.turlockmemorialpark.com. Remembrances may be left to the Turlock Historical Society.