‘Laguna Treasure’ dies

Betty Swenson, mother of longtime Laguna Beach City Clerk Verna Rollinger, died May 30 at the age of 89.

Born in 1918 in Greeley, Colorado, she grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Fremont High School.

She worked for some 24 years for the Los Angeles County Assessor, beginning her career as a personal property appraiser and retiring in 1978 as chief of the systems division.

On her retirement, she moved to Laguna Beach, where, having acquired an A.A. degree in real estate, she worked briefly as a Realtor.


Swenson became a member of the Laguna Beach Democratic Club and attended a number of statewide party conventions. She took part in “The Walk in the Canyon” in 1989 — a watershed protest against canyon development — and was a longtime treasurer and board member of both Village Laguna and the Temple Hills Community Assn.

At a dinner of the Laguna Canyon Conservancy in September 2002, she was declared a “Laguna Treasure.” She loved to travel and was devoted to a series of abandoned dogs.

She is survived by Rollinger, a son, Robert Olson, grandchildren, Jeanette and Victor Rollinger, and Victor’s wife, Mary.

A celebration of her life is planned for late June. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the city’s Pet Responsibility Committee or to Habitat for Humanity.