Morgan, 100, going strong
By Jesse Phelps
Trevor Morgan has reached the
century mark. A Welshman who made a living as a carpenter and
cabinetmaker, Morgan is beloved by friends and family alike and
many traveled to Ojai on Sunday to celebrate his 100th birthday
at St. Joseph's Retirement and Health Care Center.
Despite his advanced age, Morgan himself is not a resident of
St. Joseph's. It's his grandson, Christopher, who 20 years ago
suffered a debilitating injury in a car accident - which has
him in a comatose state most of the time - who lives there.
Since the accident, Morgan has
been a regular at St. Joseph's, spending an average of four or
five hours a day by his grandson's side.
He's a caretaker here for his
grandson," says Morgan's daughter-in-law Ginger. "He
comes down here and helps us out with our son."
Family members agree that's what keeps Morgan going. "That's
why he's lived so long," says Morgan's daughter Nelia. "He's
Nelia also remembers that when she needed him, he was there,
lending his talents to make his children happy. "I can remember
when I was little girl, at home," she says, "And he
built a beautiful dollhouse for us in the back yard."
In his work as a carpenter, son Dave says Morgan was a legendary
perfectionist. "A lot of homes in Ojai, he put them together,"
says Dave. "Very meticulous. He insits on having everything,
you know how you'll have a door maybe a little bit off? Not with
Trevor. He insisted it be perfect."
Family members say Morgan, in addition to his prowess as a carpenter,
belongs to the masonic order. "They did a little something
for him in their newsletter," says Dave. The elder Morgan
is also something of a ladies' man, says his daughter, and has
always loved performing.
He acted in many plays as a young
man, performing at the Art Center years ago. He also loves to
sing spirituals, which he did for many years at the church. "He's
a man of all trades," says Ginger.
"A beautiful voice," says Nelia. "My grandmother
lived in a hotel in La Jolla and they had like one room and hotplates
and whatnot. We'd go down to see her and dad would come.
His Uncle John used to sing in
the choir at the church and so we'd go to see grandma and we'd
go down the hall to her room singing Welsh hymns and all these
little old ladies would open their doors and peer out and say,
'The family's here, we can tell.' They loved it when we'd comeand
it was his Welsh voice everybody could hear."
Morgan says turning 100 feels "a little unsteady but not
too much different from being 99 and a half." Still, the
day was a special one, having started at the Presbyterian Church,
where Morgan recited the 23rd Psalm in his powerful Welsh voice.
"They got him up there,"
says Dave, "And they got him to start the 23rd psalm. And
I'll tell you, I cried like a baby 'cause he remembered word
for word and didn't miss a beat. At his age to recall that, is
For 15 minutes at the final service of the day, Morgan was celebrated
by the members of his church community, who sang Happy Birthday
before he recited the psalm. Then it was on to St. Joseph's,
where a delicious meal, a gathered throng and, most especially,
his grandson awaited the guest of honor.
Morgan has two children, Dave and Nelia, four grandchildren and
seven great-grandchildren, ages five to 24. He is loved by all
but none more than Christopher, who it is said, often lights
up with his biggest smile when Grandpa comes to visit.
The Ojai Valley News
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Morgan sits with son Dave and daughter Nelia at his 100th birthday
celebration at St. Joseph's Health and Retirement Center.