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Ocean Beach loses 101-year-old resident who fought off eviction

betty morse.PNG
Posted at 6:23 PM, Jun 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-21 21:23:45-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Ocean Beach community lost one of its longtime residents.

Betty Morse died this month at the age of 101.

"My mom was a great person, just a great person and such a great person to know and to talk to," said her son Gordon Morse.

Betty Morse moved to the San Diego area in the 1950s. After her husband died in the 1980s, she moved into a one-bedroom apartment near Newport and Sunset Cliff boulevards.

In a 2018 interview, Morse told ABC 10News, "It was a beautiful place to live because you could just walk to the beach and watch the sunset."

The rent wasn't bad either. Morse said when she first moved in, she paid $185 a month. Of course, the rent increased through the years, but Betty managed.

That was until 2018, when she was given a 90-day-notice terminating her tenancy.

"See, I figured I've lived a wonderful life in Ocean Beach, and I want to live and die here," Morse said in a 2018 interview. And she got her wish.

After a couple of TV stories and a court hearing, Morse did get to stay in her Ocean Beach cottage. The following year, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer invited her to join his float for the community holiday parade.

"Betty's very small apartment is right there, right toward the start of the parade route, and she was just always out there with a chair and a blanket, and we just became fast friends for a number of years," Faulconer said.

In honor of her 100th birthday, the event presented her with a city proclamation calling the day "Betty Morse Day."

"She had a smile that could light up a whole block, and she just really represented, I think, the best of our city,” Faulconer said.

Gordon Morse described his mom as spirited and tough. That's how she made it to age 101, he shared.

"She never wanted to leave while she was alive," he said. "We were able to give her that gift to keep her in this little house that she was in for over 30 years."