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Manteca’s Golden Girls going into Hall of Fame

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POSTED April 30, 2014 1:05 a.m.

Manteca’s Golden Girls — Evelyn Allen, Betty Bergthold, Kathryn Lauritson and Selma Wrigglesworth — are being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame.

The dinner and induction ceremonies for the Hall of Fame take place Saturday, May 10, at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. Tickets are $60 apiece and available at the Manteca Boys & Girls Club, 545 Alameda St., or by calling 239-KIDS.

Other members of the Class of 2014 are Dr. Stephen A. Lin, health care; Jeff Liotard, community service; Steve Winter, education; and John Holbrook, government.

The Golden Girls faithfully loved and served the people of Manteca. They were all business owners.

• Evelyn Allen in 1945 opened Allen’s Jewelry and ran it until 1995. A slogan she was heard to say many times was, “If you don’t know your jewels, know your jeweler.” There was integrity behind that statement. Evelyn put her customers first. In one instance, she allowed teenage girls to slowly purchase a silver tea set for their parents’ anniversary. 

• Kathyrn Lauritson, with her husband George, opened Manteca Variety in 1939 and ran it until it closed in 1976. Children and adults alike loved shopping there. Kathryn would make Easter baskets with toys, eggs and candy for children long before it was commonly done, enjoyed helping and visiting with her customers, making each them feel welcome and special.

• Selma Wrigglesworth with her husband Gus opened Wrigglesworth A Man’s Shop in 1965. She relished working with customers as well as being part of the Manteca business community. She was instrumental in hiring high school students to work in their store, giving them an opportunity for work experience. 

• Betty Bergthold with her husband Charles owned Bergthold Mortuary for 28 years. She received her license as a mortician, something rare for a woman in the 1940s. With tenderness and understanding, she served families during their time of grief. A favorite family saying, “Busy hands are happy hands” which Betty certainly exemplified this through her many kitting projects. 

 All four of the Golden Girls were active members of the Manteca Soroptomist Club. Two of them, Evelyn and Betty, were charter members. Each of them served as club president. The Golden Girls were members of Pentalpha Chapter of Eastern Star. Several of them served on the Rainbow Board mentoring teenage girls. They were charter members of the Manteca Historical Society. They enjoyed volunteering at the Manteca History Museum. Evelyn, Betty and Kathryn volunteered as Pink Ladies and the gift shop at Manteca Hospital while Selma volunteered at St. Dominic’s Hospital. Betty and Selma volunteered at the Manteca Library. Evelyn and Kathryn were members of Federated Women’s Club, Selma and Betty were members of PEO, Betty was part of the American Legion Auxiliary, Betty and Selma were active in PTA, Betty as President and receiving Honorary Life Member. 

All four belonged to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. They helped in the kitchen at memorial services, baked and cooked, served on multiple committees, organized fund raisers and social events, lead classes, participated with the United Methodist Women, and worked at the Nearly New Shop. They loved their pastors and church family.

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