Union Democrat staff

Betty Jane Prahser

May 18, 1928 - Oct. 7, 2011

Betty Jane Prahser, of Sonora, died Friday at Tuolumne General Medical Facility. She was 83.

She was born in Modesto to Wilbur and Hazel Schwab, the youngest of five children. She had three brothers, Sid, Clair, and Fred, and one sister, Glada. All are deceased.

The family moved to Tuolumne in 1932 for a short time, and she started kindergarten at Summerville Elementary School. After her mother remarried, the family moved back to Modesto with her mother and stepfather, Jim Hennessey, who became as close to the family as a biological father.

She graduated from Modesto High School and went to work at a country club, where she met her first husband, Bill Tredway. They had a daughter, Patricia. She and Tredway divorced in 1952.

She married Ed Prahser in 1958. He owned the 99 sports center for many years. They enjoyed traveling, water sports and skeet shooting. She worked for the California Employment Development Department until she retired.

After her husband died, she spent her time with her daughter until Patricia died. She also spent time with close friends during her work years and one of them, Jan Gilgert, has remained in touch.

Her niece said she was known by family and friends for sense of humor, and loved teasing her caregivers at Tuolumne General Medical Facility, where she lived for the past six years.

She is survived by her niece and husband, Erline and Marlin Heldstab, of Tuolumne, and many grand-nephews and nieces, including Amy and Clay Peterson, Serina and John Ortega and Mitch and Tina Heldstab, all of Tuolumne, and the Sonny Prahser family in Modesto.

No services were held at her request. She is inurned at the Acacia Cemetery in Modesto with her mother and sister.

The Eaton Family Funeral and Cremation Service in Modesto handled arrangements.


BRUCE - Cindy Bruce, 55, of Sonora, died Tuesday at her home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

DUVAL - Lyle Duval, 70, of Sonora, died Tuesday at Sonora Regional Medical Center. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

GIBSON - Evelyn Gibson, 78, of Columbia, died Sunday at her home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.