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Bethyl Irene Fonda
A memorial service was held Saturday at Grace Community Christian Church in Ceres for Bethyl Irene Fonda, 98, of Ceres. She died May 24, 2011.

Born Nov. 24, 1912 in Stockton to George and Isa Grant, Bethyl lost her mother when she was eight months old and family friends Charles and Ida Higbee took care of Bethyl since Mr. Grant had six other children to care for. She became Bethyl Higbee and grew up in the Ceres and Modesto area. She met her husband, Donald Fonda, when she was 15 and they were married Oct. 19, 1930, after she graduated from Modesto High School. They were married 54 years until his passing in 1985. A devout Christian, Bethyl taught Sunday school and played the piano and organ for many years at the Ceres Christian Church. She also was a piano teacher in the Ceres area for 30 years. In recent years, she was a charter member of the Grace Community Christian Church in Ceres.

She leaves behind four children, Raymond Fonda of Coarsegold, Ed Fonda of Yachats, Ore., Carol Blanton of Ceres and Wayne Fonda of Modesto; and 11 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

-Ceres Courier/ June 1, 2011