Merced Sun Star

Betty Mead McCullough

June 28, 1922 - December 10, 2004

Betty Jacqueline Mead was born June 28, 1922 in Burlington, Vermont, and passed away Friday, December 10, 2004 at the hospital in Merced, California. She was 82.

Betty grew up in Hinesburg, Vermont where she graduated from Hinesburg High School. She attended the University of Vermont where she received her teaching degree. She then taught children, 6 grade levels at once, in a one-room country schoolhouse. Speaking of Vermont, she drove a '35 Ford that started on most cold mornings when very few did. She said it could "buck snow as high as the radiator" (just back up and hit it again). The milk truck drivers used to say, "we'll let Miss Mead clear the road." She went in early to build a fire in the pot bellied stove on regular winter days (10 below zero); she said they did cancel school one day when it was 30 below.

At age 26, when her sailor didn't come home from the war, she moved herself to California to find a man. She taught school in Reedley, and soon met her "handsome Irishman", Don McCullough. They married, started a business in Merced, and soon had four little boys that needed more room (and chores) than "the city" could provide. They moved the family and business (S.A.I.S. Bearing Supply & Electric Motor Shop) to 5 acres on Highway 33 near Dos Palos, where it continues today. The boys (soon joined by twin girls) were fed and kept busy with a milk cow, chickens, and beef cattle, and all worked in the shop summers and after school. She loved her life here and was grateful that the business survived and her family was accepted in Dos Palos.

Betty was a member of the Dos Palos United Methodist Church. She enjoyed painting and writing regular letters to the editor of the local newspaper. She was active in the community, and held positions in various civic clubs. She enjoyed taking cruises, deep sea fishing, gambling, telling jokes, and sharing an occasional drink with family and friends. She will be missed by all who remember her unfailing sense of humor and her devotion to her family.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Erle and Flora Mead, two sisters, Eleanor Hart and Dorothy Hill, her husband Don McCullough, and son Randy McCullough.

She is survived by her brother Johnny Mead and his wife Emma of Hinesburg, Vermont; her sons Storm, Gil, and Russell McCullough, all of Dos Palos; her daughter Penny Malanca of Fresno; her daughter Sherry Easterwood of Mesa, Arizona; 16 grandchildren; and many other extended family members.

Remembrances in Betty's name may be made to Dos Palos United Methodist Church, or to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 462, Los Banos, CA 93635. Visitation will be held at Whitehurst Funeral Chapel on Thursday, December 16, 2004 from 6-8pm. Funeral services will be Friday, December 17, at 1:00 pm at the Dos Palos United Methodist Church, Pastor Paul Steinhauer officiating, with a reception to follow at the Del Hale Hall in Dos Palos. A family burial is scheduled for Saturday, December 18 at Evergreen Memorial Park in Merced.