Beatrice Cilker Hubbard, a resident of Palo Alto for more than 65 years and a direct descendent of Santa Clara Valley pioneers, died of natural causes Monday evening, February 4. She was 96.
Bea, as she was known to friends and family, was born March 19, 1916, in Los Gatos. Her parents, Hazel Beatrice Lester Cilker and William Hamilton Cilker, hailed from two of Santa Clara County’s early and most well-known fruit-growing families. It was on the Cilker Family’s 174-acre ranch, with hundreds of prune, apricot and olive trees that Bea grew up.
The oldest of four siblings, Bea attended public school in Los Gatos and was involved in community service through the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. In her senior year at Los Gatos High School, she was crowned queen of the Santa Clara County’s annual Festival of Roses.
Bea attended San Jose State University where she met her husband-to-be and future Santa Clara County Supervisor Wesley L. “Bud” Hubbard. The two were married on February 5, 1938 in San Jose. The couple relocated with their family to Palo Alto and was one of the first residents of Fulton Street, which later became known as “Christmas Tree Lane.”
While husband “Bud” focused his attention on the Hubbard & Johnson Lumber Co., Bea not only raised five children but also became one of Palo Alto’s most devoted civic supporters. Her volunteer work spread across dozens of public and private organizations throughout Palo Alto and Santa Clara Valley. Her 50 years of community service did not go unnoticed. In 1994, she was named a Palo Alto Lifetimes of Achievement honoree by Avenidas, a senior services organization. The distinction earned the active Republican a congressional tribute from U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo (CA-18th District).
A globetrotter well into her 80’s, Bea traveled extensively with family members, including cousin (deceased) Rixford Snyder, a former dean of undergraduate admission and history professor at Stanford University responsible for founding its alumni travel/study group. Bea was an avid gardener and a passionate supporter of local arts and culture. Throughout her life, she remained an active member of the Christian Science Church.
She is survived by her five children, Michael, Russell, Sidney, Taylor, and Lauren, along with 21 grandchildren and great grandchildren, and her brother William “Bill” Cilker Jr. She is predeceased by her brother George Cilker and sister Marion Cilker.
Private services are to be held.