2013-10-17 / Obituaries

Beth Schardt Hiemforth

Beth Schardt Hiemforth went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, with her husband and all three of her children by her side. She died at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno after a short illness. Mary Elizabeth Chamberlin Schardt Hiemforth was born on May 13, 1921, in San Bernardino to Ira and Elizabeth Chamberlin. She was known to most as Beth and a lucky few as Mom, Mamacita, Grandma, or Grandmama.

She is survived by her loving husband, Cliff Hiemforth, her daughter and son-in-law, Janice and Richard Sands of Boulder, Colo., her son and daughter in-law, John and Penny Schardt of Wilmington, N.C., and her son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Julie Schardt of Stockton. She also leaves seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Fred Schardt.

After graduating from Huntington Park High School, Beth met Fred when he performed in a jazz band with Beth’s brother, Bob. Beth and Fred married in 1942. Their daughter, Janice, was born in 1944— two days after Fred shipped out to pilot a B-29 in World War II. After the war, little Janice was joined by twins John and Jim. The family settled in Shafter, Calif. Fred became a potato farmer and Beth worked as a secretary at Shafter High School.

In the 1960s, the Schardts moved to Salinas and Beth went to work for the Monterey County planning department. Once she and Fred retired in the mid- 1970s, they moved to Mariposa, where they built a warm, welcoming house. They kept a magnificent garden, entertained friends and family, and enjoyed life in the mountains.

Fred died in 1999. Cliff, a family friend, lost his wife soon after. Beth and Cliff became close in the following years. In November 2003, they were married in her living room in front of the Schardt and Hiemforth clans. During their nearly ten year marriage, they enjoyed traveling together and made trips to Europe and Hawaii. For several years, they were regulars at performances of the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012, they moved to Fairwinds Woodward Park retirement community in Fresno.

Beth was a beautiful, graceful lady who never lost her sharp sense of humor. She had a deep, abiding faith in God, which brought comfort in hard times and peace at the end of her life. At her request, no formal services are planned.

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