Betty Ann Pustarfi Betty Ann Pustarfi, age 76, of Capitola, died peacefully on May 6 at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz with her life partner of 34 years, Jennifer Jones of Capitola, at her side. She was born in Newark, New Jersey, on Dec. 21, 1931, to Theodore and Jeannette Pustarfi. Betty attended St. Mary's High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and upon graduation in 1949 enlisted in the Air Force, rising to Staff Sergeant during the Korean War. After her honorable discharge, she earned her bachelor's degree in English at Arizona State University. While attending college, she worked for the internationally famous author, Erskine Caldwell. Betty then enlisted in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant in 1957. After working for numerous corporations, including the American Institute of Architects, Raychem, Vacublast and TRW as Director of Communications & Marketing Services, Betty became one of the bright lights on the Northern California culinary landscape in the 1980s and 1990s. Her vibrant olive oil tastings were highlights at the culinary depot, Jones & Bones Unlimited in Capitola, which she opened in 1984 with Ms. Jones. Betty went on to start her own business, Strictly Olive Oil, and became an internationally known olive oil expert, traveling to Tunisia, Turkey and Australia. "Living large" without apologies was Betty's specialty. A gifted teacher, writer and quipster, tireless researcher, and lifelong bon vivant, she didn't suffer fools lightly, but was generous and witty with those she cared for. Hers was an inquiring mind up until the very end. She touched many lives, and those who remember her pithy laughter, zest for life and great sense of humor will miss her deeply! In addition to Ms. Jones, Betty is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Joan and Roy Larson of Pebble Beach; nephews, Jeff, Paul, Kirk and Peter Larson; and niece, Chrissy (Larson) Harman of Soquel. On June 5, Betty's ashes, along with the ashes of her beloved cat, S.S. Kitty Hawk, will be scattered off the coast of the San Francisco Bay by the Neptune Society. Contributions in Betty's memory can be made to Dominican Hospital/Dominican Home Health Care, 1555 Soquel Dr., Santa Cruz, CA 95065.
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Published in San Jose Mercury News on May 21, 2008