Betty Morais, longtime executive director of Planned Parenthood of Northwest Ohio, died peacefully at Hospice of Northwest Ohio on May 14, 2013. She was 90.
Betty joined Planned Parenthood as executive director in 1972. Her 18-year tenure included construction of a new downtown facility and satellite clinics devoted to women’s health and family planning in suburban Toledo, Bowling Green, Findlay, and Fremont. Betty, along with the organization’s board and medical team, also expanded services to include cancer screenings and dynamic education programs, winning the Planned Parenthood Federation’s national award for services during the 1980s.
Following her retirement, Betty helped found Community Shares of Northwest Ohio, a charity that raises funds in the workplace for local organizations that are not supported by larger workplace charities.
Betty was born in Minneapolis in 1923 and grew up in a close-knit family of cousins and grandparents. Her father was a lawyer, and her mother was a piano teacher whose volunteer work included starting a lakeside summer camp for urban children in the 1930s. Betty graduated from the University of Minnesota and received a master’s degree in personnel psychology from Ohio State, after which she worked in New York City for the Adjutant General’s Office of the U.S. Army.
Arriving in Toledo in 1947, Betty joined the former Lasalle’s department store as a personnel manager. By the 1960s, her volunteer work became almost full time, as she devoted herself to the League of Women Voters, to Toledo’s series of Book Mart fundraising events, and to establishing child-care and after-school programs for disadvantaged kids. She also worked for several years at the Economic Opportunity Planning Association, Toledo’s branch of the Federal government’s Office of Economic Opportunity.
In 1950, Betty married Harold Morais, who was director of store planning for Lasalle’s. Harold died in 1999, and their younger son, Anthony, died in 2009. Betty is survived by her daughter, Nina deCordova, and her son, Peter Morais.
Betty asked that any tributes be in the form of contributions to Hospice of Northwest Ohio; Toledo Area Humane Society; or ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). A celebration of her life will be announced. Her family would like to thank Betty’s recent caregivers, Karin Duncan and Mike Ferner; care navigator Kathleen Hinds, RN, and the office of Dr. Elizabeth Ford.