Wilma Hall, 97, formerly of Riverbank and Modesto, passed away peacefully on January 9, 2017, surrounded by family at Vista Cove Care Center, Santa Paula, CA following a long battle with Lewy Body Dementia. So many words describe Wilma: loving wife, proud mother, wonderful grandmother, kind friend, helpful neighbor, avid traveler, gem and mineral enthusiast, nature lover with a great sense of humor.
She was born September 21, 1919, in Empire, CA to Otis & Esther (Rash) Welch. Wilma attended Waterford Elementary School and graduated from Oakdale Joint Union High School in 1937. Upon graduation, she worked in legal secretarial and stenographic positions with a local Law Firm. Between the years 1937-1940, she played on a Women’s Championship Softball team and participated at the World’s Fair in San Francisco and won the Championship game. In 1991, she was inducted into the Oakdale Sports Hall of Fame.
Wilma married the love of her life, James Russell (Russ) Duddleston in 1940 in Riverbank. After 25 years of marriage, Russ passed away. They had two sons; James Allen Duddleston and Richard Lee Duddleston. She later married Paul W. Hall until his death in 1991. During WWII, she and Russ moved to Inglewood, CA where they both worked for North American Aviation factory supporting the war effort. She was an Operations Officer at the Bank of California, Riverbank for many years and Treasurer for the City for 18 years. Wilma was a valued member of the First United Methodist Church in Riverbank and was active in the choir and the United Methodist Women’s groups. She enjoyed membership and participation in American Business Women Assoc., Riverbank Federated Women’s Club, Soroptimist Club of Oakdale, Muni-Niners Club, Homewood Village Bowling League, Stanislaus Mixed Bowling League and the PTA when her children were in school. She was a member of the Mother Lode Mineral Society and enjoyed displaying her works at many Gem and Mineral shows. Survived by her sons, Jim Duddleston (Colleen), Ventura, CA; and Richard Duddleston (Katy), Ceres, CA; six Grandchildren John Duddleston (Lori), Riverton, UT; Heather Hutchins (Neal) Fillmore, CA; Beth Armstrong (Phil), Renton, WA; Tyler Duddleston (Dannaka), Modesto, CA; Jordan Duddleston, Modesto, CA; and Garrett Duddleston (Terra), Reno, NV; 13 Great Grandchildren, and one Great-Great Grandchild, Brother Virgil W Welch (Shirlee), LaVerne, CA; and Donald A. Welch, (Bobbi) La Verne, CA.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, Otis and Esther Welch, brother Sydney Welch, husband, James Russell Duddleston in 1965 and husband Paul Hall in 1991. We will always carry your memory in our hearts. Special Thanks to the staff at Vista Cove Care Center, Santa Paula, CA and Assisted Hospice, Ventura, CA. Visitation will be held at Lakewood Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 900 Santa Fe Ave., Hughson, CA 11 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday, January 19. Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, January 21 at 11 a.m., at First United Methodist Church, 6901 Third Street, Riverbank, CA. Lunch to follow. In lieu of flowers, her family requests donations to be made in her memory, to the First United Methodist Church, Memorial Fund, 6901 Third Street, P.O. Box 1091, Riverbank, CA, 95367 or Mother Lode Mineral Society, Scholarship Fund, P.O Box 1263, Modesto, CA, 95353.
The Riverbank (Calif.) News
Jan. 18, 2017