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Bette McLane


Bette Dawn Hegwood McLane, 92, died peacefully Friday, Sept. 28 in San Diego, where she was residing in a nursing home.

She was one of 13 children. She was a longtime resident of Oakdale.

Mrs. McLane was known in the community as “everybody’s Gramma.” She never met a child she didn’t love and worked in the local elementary schools as a teacher’s aide after retiring from the May Company where she established their bridal registry program. Later, she came to be well known and loved by teachers and students alike as a great costume maker for Magnolia Elementary School pageants. Her seemingly bottomless costume trunk was well-known.

Early in her life she was awarded a special citation by then-governor Gerald Brown, Sr. for establishing the first elementary school library in the state in San Diego, where she lived from 1945 through 1984 before retiring in Oakdale. She worked with other San Diego elementary schools to develop additional libraries and was awarded a lifetime PTA membership for her contributions to children’s education.

She is survived by her children, Susan McLane Fredrick of Round Rock, Texas, Martha McLane Ryan, Barbara McLane Thoulion, both of San Diego, William R. McLane of Bodega; sisters, Rae Alotta of Half Moon Bay, Joan Wellington, of Rock Island, Ill.; brother, Don Hegwood of Illinois; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and many “grand-friends.”

She was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Roy Lloyd McLane; grandson, Christopher Youlden; granddaughter, Jennifer Ryan; and nine siblings.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3 in the chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1111 East A St., Oakdale.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in her name to the Magnolia School library or Oakdale Public Library children’s book division.

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader

Oct. 24, 2012