Marie Hatch: Woman, 97, Evicted From Home After 66 Years

Marie Hatch is 97-years-old. She is battling her second round with cancer and has little to no family. The only thing Marie has is the wood-shingled cottage in tony Burlingame that she has rented for the past 66 years, and now the landlord is evicting her.

According to the SFGate, Hatch moved into the cottage, which was owned by Vivian Kruse at the time, nearly 70 years ago. Kruse and Hatch were not only landlord and tenant, they were also great friends, which led Kruse to offer Hatch the cottage until the day she died. When Kruse passed away, she made sure her daughter would uphold the agreement, and then her granddaughter once her daughter passed on. However, when the final woman died, the current landlord said the agreement was void.

Now, the current landlord David Kantz is evicting Marie from her home. On February 11, Marie and her sublet roommate Georgia Rothrock, 85, were given a 60-day notice to vacate the house or be removed by the sheriff’s deputies.

Kantz was married to Kruse’s granddaughter Pamela Kantz, who was murdered in 2006. At the time of her death, David and Pamela were in the process of getting a divorce. However, Pamela was murdered by her boyfriend Tony McClung, who is currently serving an 11-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter, before their divorce was finalized. Kantz said the trust that his wife left behind will expire in July, and he is “duty-bound to sell the property on behalf of his two sons.”

“We have come to this unexpected confluence of events, and I am responsible to do the best I can for the beneficiaries — my sons,” Kantz said. “I just kind of inherited this property and the assumptions that weren’t really written down, and now I have to unwind it.”

Although Kantz admits that his family has informed him of the original verbal agreement between Marie and Vivian, Kantz said there “no contract. There’s nothing in my wife’s will that directs me to do anything other than what is best for the beneficiaries.” Because the cottage is currently listed on the Zillow real estate website at $1.2 million, what’s “best” for Kantz is to sell the property.

“I didn’t want to say, ‘We’re going to just throw you out,’ but I thought I would give her plenty of notice,” Kantz said. “There is no one part of this whole thing I don’t feel bad about. I feel bad for the elderly lady, I feel bad for my sons, I feel bad for me.”

Despite Kantz’s reasons for evicting Hatch, one problem still remains- she has no where to go, and no family to live with.

“They’re trying to take away everything from me here,” Hatch said. “Gee whiz, I don’t know what I’ll do if I have to leave. I have a lot of tears, a lot of happiness, a lot of memories in this house. It is my home. Where can I go?”

Marie’s longtime-family friend has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for her moving and living expenses once she is evicted.

“We only want Marie to be able to stay at home for longer than two months, as she is ill with cancer and in no shape to move,” Lisa Krieger wrote on the fundraising page. “Nor can she afford to move. But if the eviction proceeds, Marie will need money for obvious reasons.”

“Marie worked very hard her entire life and should be able to stay in what has been her home for 66 years,” Krieger continued. “She can’t do it without your help.”

Since Lisa created the GoFundMe page 18 hours ago, $9,023 of the $25,000 goal has been raised by 202 donors.

[Photo via Shutterstock]