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Betty Westerveld celebrates 103rd birthday


Last updated 5/7/2018 at 9:08am

Betty Westerveld enjoys one gin martini before dinner on a Friday.

Submitted by Silvergate Retirement and Assisted Living Facility

On April 29, 1915, Alice 'Betty' Solt was born near Findlay, Ohio. Betty grew up on a farm and lived with her family in a huge Victorian home of her grandparents. She had a brother two years older, a sister two years younger and a sister 11 years younger. Before school every day Betty had to milk a cow, which was the one chores she did not like doing. Betty also helped with hay baling and any other farm chores that needed to be done.

On the farm, she learned all about "hard work." Betty graduated from high school in 1933 and got a job assembling radio testers for Triplett Electrical Instrument Company in Bluffton, Ohio. She joined the company baseball and basketball teams and enjoyed playing immensely. After two years, she went to Tiffen Business University, graduated in 1937 and went to work for Marathon Oil, where she eventually became the secretary to the president.

In 1951, she took a leave of absence from her job and drove across country with her best girlfriend to Los Angeles. Betty decided to stay and soon got a job at Union Oil (now known as Chevron Oil) where she attained the position of secretary to the corporate secretary. In January 1952, she met her future husband Lou Westerveld; they were married in 1955. With this marriage she became a stepmother to two daughters who lived in Virginia.

Betty retired from Union Oil in 1971 and the happy couple moved to Valley Oaks Mobile Home Park in Fallbrook. Betty and Lou loved to travel and golf and it was a big part of their lives. They enjoyed many hours of pleasurable rounds with their tight knit group of friends from the park. Eventually Betty spearheaded the formation of the Women's Golf Club at Pala Mesa Resort which is still going strong today; Betty is an honorary lifetime member. In 1996 her beloved Lou passed away, Betty remained very active continuing to play golf and bridge.

In 2007, after the Rice Canyon Fire destroyed Betty's neighbors' homes at Valley Oaks and caused smoke damage to hers, she reluctantly made the difficult decision to move to Silvergate Retirement and Assisted Living Facility in Fallbrook.

Betty continued with her active lifestyle of playing bridge at not only Pala Mesa but also at Silvergate twice a week. She gave up bridge at Pala Mesa when she turned in her driver's license at the young age of 100! Betty also served as secretary for the Resident Council at Silvergate for many years where her shorthand skills were legendary. Betty says moving to Silvergate was the right choice for herself and she has had no regrets.

Now as Betty's 103rd year has arrived, it is hard to convince others of her true age! She is almost 6 feet tall, dresses impeccably, always has a smile, has total recall of her past and present and she never has anything bad to say about others. She is a beautiful person through and through.

What is Betty's secret to longevity? She does not have an answer for that, however she says she has always led an active lifestyle, never smoked and admitted to having one gin martini many Fridays before dinner, stirred not shaken! This is a tradition that she and her beloved Lou started when they married and so far it has paid off for Betty!


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