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Betty Jean Hunt

July 4, 1930 April 4, 2020
Betty Jean Hunt
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Obituary for Betty Jean Hunt
Betty Jean (Wilcoxon) Hunt, 89, of Charleston, formerly of Oakland, died Saturday, April 4, 2020, at St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital in Effingham.
Betty Betty was born July 4, 1930, in Newman, a daughter of Odes and Maude (Harmon) Wilcoxon. She married Ralph Hunt on March 5, 1949; he died March 6, 1995.
She is survived by two sons, Charles Hunt of Oakland and Harold (Beverly) Hunt of Oakland; a daughter-in-law, Teresa (Kim) Boes of Oakland; six grandchildren, David (Glenda) Hunt of Mattoon, Janice Hunt of Oakland, Joshua (Lori) Hunt of Oakland, Craig (Heather) Hunt of Oakland, Jacob Hunt of Orland Park and Justin Hunt (Leah Paul) of Ashmore; seven great-grandchildren, Carl Hunt, Kassidy (Gabe) Light, Joshua Hunt Jr., John Hunt, Jeremiah Hunt, Ramsey Hunt and Kaylenn Hunt; a step-great-grandson, Skyler Hood; two great-great-grandchildren and two step-great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews who knew her as "Aunt Bean."
She was also preceded in death by a son, Carl Allen Hunt; three brothers, Bill Wilcoxon, Jim Wilcoxon and Fred Wilcoxon; and two sisters, Elsie Walsh and Donna Smith.
After having skipped a grade, Betty graduated the youngest in her class from Oakland High School in 1947. That summer, as she was walking down Main Street from her job at the restaurant, a handsome man offered her a ride home and asked her to go to the Paris fireworks the next night, her 17th birthday. The rest is history.
Side by side, Ralph and Betty built a farm and a family. Betty raised chickens, ran equipment and brought up three sons, all while cooking large meals and keeping the home spotless.
Betty enjoyed staying busy. For many winters, she and Ralph sold Texas fruit from their garage. In the 1970s, she owned and operated Betty Hunt's Little White House rummage shop across the street from their home; in the early 1980s, she closed the doors to devote her time to her grandchildren.
Far more people than her own grandchildren called her "Grandma Betty," and her license plate proudly proclaimed her name as "GRBETTY."
An amazing cook, she was also known as The Cookie Lady by the many in the community who enjoyed her treats. For many years, her decorated and well-stocked garage was the most popular Trick-or-Treat stop in town.
She organized the Chamber of Commerce's Halloween party for several years, and coordinated the 1940s reunion for a decade's worth of OHS graduates. When Ralph headed up efforts to fix up Fairview Cemetery in the early 1990s, she assisted by providing food and other help.
For decades, she and Ralph spent their winters in their motorhome in Florida, and together, they saw many wonderful sights across the United States.
Her hobbies included playing games, reading, crocheting, gardening, mowing and sharing her razor-sharp wit. Through gifts from loved ones, her renowned frog collection grew through the years to the point of having its own room for display.
She was happiest when she could be out at the fields, especially when she took food to those in the next generations that were continuing the work she and Ralph loved. She was proud to be a farmer.
Due to the current restrictions on public gatherings, the family will hold a private burial service in Fairview Cemetery south of Oakland, with her beloved and devoted neighbor, "Coach" John McInerney, officiating. Krabel Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Memorials are suggested to the Oakland High School FFA or the OHS National Honor Society. Checks may be mailed to Krabel Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1007, Oakland, IL 61943.
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Event Information

Services are private.

Cemetery Details


Fairview Cemetery Final Resting Place
United States

Memorial Contribution

Oakland High School National Honor Society

Oakland Future Farmers of America


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