Betty Jean Hughes Hardesty passed away February 21, 2023 at the age of 90.  She was born at home to Joseph Leonard Hughes and Lura Elizabeth Stallings Hughes on September 16, 1932 in Cameron, Oklahoma.  She was followed five years later by her brother James Donald Hughes. The family moved to Porterville, California when she was 12 years old. There she went to school and graduated from Strathmore High School.  Jean went to work in a grape packing shed in Ducor, California where she met her husband, Paul William Hardesty. They eloped on May 3, 1951.  They had three children in three years before moving to Elk Grove in 1955.  Jean and Paul added six more children over the next eight years. During that time, she was raising her children and helping on the dairy farm where they lived. When the youngest kids got old enough, she started working for the post office in Elk Grove as a rural route mail carrier. She retired after 20 years of service.

Jean, began entering contests as a hobby in the early 1970's.   Over the years she won cars, trips, appliances, bicycles, TVs, cash, and many other prizes.   She would also enter her children's names and “won” many more contest prizes.  With a subscription to a contesting newsletter, she made it a very successful part time business.  Jean's other passion was gardening, being well known for her tomatoes, okra, beans, squash, and strawberries. She was very generous sharing with many family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her mother, father, brother, husband, son Gregory Paul Hardesty, and grandsons, John Paul Hardesty, and Michael William Hardesty. She is survived by her children Patty Clark of Smoot, WY, Gary (Kay) Hardesty of Yerington, NV, Chuck (Angie) Hardesty of Afton, WY, Joe (Yvette) Hardesty of Elk Grove, CA, Jim (Judy) Hardesty of Galt, CA, Steve (Andrea) Hardesty of Wilton, CA, Walt (Kathy) Hardesty, Nancy Hardesty, and daughter-in-law, Paula Hardesty all of Elk Grove, 22 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, sister-in-law Josie Hughes of Galt, many nieces, nephews, and dear friends.  A Memorial Mass will take place on Friday, April 28 at 1 p.m. at the Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 9539 Racquet Court, Elk Grove, CA.  A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 29 at 12 p.m. at her ranch in Elk Grove, California.

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