LILLIAN GERTRUD ASPLUND, LAST AMERICAN SURVIVOR OF THE TITANIC DISASTER, HAS DIED AT 99
By ANDREW RYAN, Associated Press Writer
8 minutes ago
BOSTON - Lillian Gertrud Asplund, the last American survivor of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, has died, a funeral home said Sunday. She was 99.
Asplund, who was just 5 years old, lost her father and three brothers — including a fraternal twin — when the "practically unsinkable" ship went down in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg.
She died Saturday at her home in Shrewsbury, said Ronald E. Johnson, vice president of the Nordgren Memorial Chapel in Worcester, Mass.
"She went to sleep peacefully," he said.
Asplund's mother and another brother, Felix, who was 3, also survived the Titanic sinking in the early morning of April 15, 1912.
Asplund was the last Titanic survivor with actual memories of the sinking, but she shunned publicity and rarely spoke about the events.
At least two other survivors of the sinking are living, but they were too young to have memories of the disaster. Barbara Joyce West Dainton of Truro, England, was 10 months old and Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean of Southampton, England, was 2 months old.
The Asplund family, all third-class passengers, had boarded the ship in Southampton, England, on their way back to Worcester from their ancestral homeland, Sweden, where they had spent several years.
Asplund never married and working at secretarial jobs in the Worcester area most of her life. She retired early to care for her mother, Selma, who it is said never got over the tragedy.
Her mother died on the 52nd anniversary of the sinking in 1964 at age 91. Felix Asplund died on March 1, 1983, at age 73
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