WWII veteran celebrates 100th birthday days before city's centennial

World War II veteran Morris Brown turned 100 on Monday, and spent the day celebrating in front of family and friends in West Covina

On Feb. 13, 1923, Morris Brown was born to Willard Brown and Margaret Brown. Monday was an emotional day for his family.

For children Wanna and Teri, "He's been an awesome dad." His granddaughter couldn't help but get emotional when talking about her grandfather.

Morris Brown was married to the love of his life, Betty, for 73 years. She died a couple of years ago, and Morris said being married for 73 years is even more impressive than living 100. When asked why, he said she was, "more enjoyable." He still remembers her favorite song, Moonlight Serenade.

Morris Brown also remembers his service in World War II, memories he said he wished he didn't have.

"You didn't know for sure what was going to happen," he said. "Wether your ship was going to be hit or not."

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Morris Brown of West Covina celebrates his 100th birthday with his family and friends.

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Morris Brown moved to West Covina in the 1950s, to a house that cost him just under $9,000. This was at a time, according to West Covina Historian Forest Tennant, when other vets were coming to the city on the GI Bill. Coincidentally, Morris Brown turned 100 years old just days before the city of West Covina itself.

"A hundred is getting to be a goal for all of us," Tennant said. "Like the city we're here. We've made a good city after 100 years. He's lived 100 years, he served in the war. It's a great time for both of them to celebrate."

"He's a special gentleman," said West Covina Mayor Rosario Diaz. "I got a chance to meet with him and talk to him and I think one of the items he says that he recommends to everyone is to be happy and to be kind to people."

Despite his love of soda and chocolate, Morris Brown said the key to his long life and success is getting along and cooperating with others.