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Blanche Sheridan, Hughson's oldest, dies at 102
Hughson's oldest resident Blanche A. Sheridan, who walked regularly to Hamilton's Cafe blocks from her home and spoke with an occasional salty tongue, has died at age 102.

Mrs. Sheridan, the grand marshall of the 2007 Hughson Centennial Parade, died Feb. 13, 2010 in Modesto.

"I haven't done anything wild and exciting," said Sheridan in a 2007 interview with the Ceres Courier. "I just live day by day. When I wake up in the morning, it's 'Oh, I'm still here' and say to myself, thank you, God. I'm not a religious person but I do believe in God."

Hughson was home to Sheridan for 63 years. Blanche came to Hughson to live permanently in 1947. In a 2007 interview with the Courier she said: "I like Hughson and everybody's friendly."

Just prior to turning 100 years old, Blanche said the secret to longevity was simple: "The main thing is to be interested and move. I don't mean you have to walk or run 10 miles but not sit down and watch TV all the time. You've got to have an interest in life. You can't just sit and vegetate."

Sheridan was born Sept. 19, 1907 in Angus, Neb., to Walter W. Woodhead and Lula Beck Woodhead. She grew up with two brothers on a farm in Edgar, Neb. The family was somewhat isolated so the kids made their own fun. Later she moved to Chicago and then off to California. Her father left for California, too, a victim of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression.

She graduated from American College in Chicago, Ill., in 1930 with a degree in Physical Education. Blanche ended up first in San Francisco where an aunt lived and where she found found work in the community centers. She came to Hughson because family was there sometime after 1925. Blanche got married to her first husband, who was in the Navy. They moved to San Diego in the 1930s but the marriage didn't work out. After returning to Hughson, Blanche worked as a dental assistant for Modesto dentist Donald C. Easton for 37 years until he retired. She then also retired at that time at the age of 78 years.

"When I was working, one of the guys came in and said, 'My God, are you still working?' And I worked two or three years after that."

Ralph Woodhead, one of her brothers, was in Hughson first. He left Nebraska looking for work and found it her. Friends of his, the Galts, ran a bank in Hughson. Her father ended up working for a feed store.

Blanche remained active past 100, spending time with family and friends, going on shopping outings, walking, eating lunch at Hamilton's Cafe, and watching sports.

She leaves behind two sons, Walter D. Sheridan of Bend, Ore., and John Anthony Sheridan III of Sacramento; four grandchildren, Scott Sheridan, Stacy Grigsby, John Sheridan, and Lisa Sheridan Cox; nine great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews Jere Woodhead, Phyllis DeWitt, Lela Bennett; and Jim Woodhead.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John A. Sheridan Jr. in the 1940s, and brothers, Ralph Woodhead and Earl Woodhead.

Friends and family celebrated Blanche's life on Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Hughson.

Remembrances may be sent to:Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356.