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Organization, leadership were her strengths

| Saturday, July 22, 2006, 12:00 p.m.

When it came to her family, her community and her church, Betty Hackett always was ready to take on a new challenge.

As a member of Oakmont Presbyterian Church, Mrs. Hackett taught Sunday School, served as a Sunday School superintendent and was chairwoman of the annual bazaar, which was a fundraiser for many of the church's programs and charities.

Betty Ashford Hackett, of Longwood at Oakmont, Plum, formerly of Oakmont, died Wednesday, July 19, 2006, at Longwood. She was 81.

"My mother was a highly organized individual who, upon joining any group, would eventually hold a top office in that group," said her daughter, Diane Harrell.

"Just this past year, one of my mother's organizations, the Oakmont Women's Club, donated $80,000 to the Riverview School District for post-secondary scholarships," Harrell said.

"She served as president of the women's club on three different occasions."

When her son and daughter showed interest in scouting, Mrs. Hackett became a neighborhood chairwoman of the Girl Scouts and a den mother for her son's Cub Scout pack.

Her resume of commitments also included the Junior Woman's Club, Parent-Teacher Association American Field Service and service as a Republican committeewoman.

"Mom took her duties as a committeewoman very seriously," Harrell said. "She worked the polls on every election."

Born and raised in Oakland, Betty Ashford was one of two daughters in the family of Hilda Dimling Ashford and Thomas F. Ashford III.

In 1941, after graduation from Schenley High School, Mrs. Hackett enrolled in the secretarial course at Duff's Iron City College, Downtown.

Before marrying Robert H. Hackett in 1948, she was employed as a secretary for Connecticut Mutual Insurance Co.

"Dad was a graduate of Brown University (Providence, R.I.) and a Navy officer of World War II," Harrell said. "They met on a blind date.

"He was employed by IDL Inc., a screen printing company. He was the chairman of the company when he retired. Dad died in 2003."

Although her husband was a golfer, Mrs. Hackett rarely ventured onto the golf course. However, she volunteered to help in the offices of the Oakmont Country Club with the preparations for two U.S. Opens and a PGA golf championship, Harrell said.

"Diane and I grew up in a very traditional family," Mrs. Hackett's son, Barry, said. "Dad was responsible for dispensing the discipline, and Mom took care of us when we were sick or hurting.

"And she also saw to it that we did our homework. She also enjoyed her role as a college parent, when Diane and I were attending Westminster College (in New Wilmington)."

Mrs. Hackett is survived by a daughter, Diane Harrell, of Oakmont; a son, Barry Haskett, of Shaler; and three grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert H. Hackett, and a sister, Jane A. Fell.

A memorial service will be conducted at 3 p.m. Aug. 20, in Oakmont Presbyterian Church, 415 Pennsylvania Ave., Oakmont. Friends will be received after the service.

Arrangements are being handled by the English-Bertucci Funeral Home, Oakmont.

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