Genealogy Blog

7 April 2015

Gertrude Weaver Dies Aged 116, Just 5 Days After Becoming World's Oldest Person

Just days after becoming the world’s oldest documented person, 116-year-old Gertrude Weaver died on Monday in Arkansas.

Weaver became the oldest person in the world after the death of a 117-year-old Japanese woman last week, according to records kept by the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group. Weaver was born in 1898.

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1 April 2015

World's Oldest Person Misao Okawa Dies in Japan

The world's oldest living person, Japan's Misao Okawa, has died from heart failure at the age of 117. She died in a nursing home in Osaka, the city she was born in on 5 March 1898.

She is survived by three children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Ms Okawa was recognised in 2013 as the world's oldest living person, as well as the world's oldest living woman, by Guinness World Records.

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5 June 2014

Chester Nez, Last of Original Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, Dies

For more than two decades, Chester Nez kept silent about his role as one of the original Navajo code talkers responsible for developing an unbreakable code during World War II.

His death Wednesday at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at age 93 was lamented by the Marine Corps as the end of an era -- for both the country and its armed forces. "We mourn his passing but honor and celebrate the indomitable spirit and dedication of those Marines who became known as the Navajo code talkers," the Marines said in a statement.

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15 March 2014

Glenn Edward McDuffie, Who Long Claimed To Be Sailor in Iconic Times Square 'Kiss' Photo at End of WWII, Dies

The Texas man who made headlines for his repeated claims to being the sailor who randomly kissed a woman in Times Square, leading to one of the most iconic photographic images of World War II, has died.

Glenn Edward McDuffie passed away at age 86 on Sunday in Texas after suffering a heart attack at a casino earlier in the day, his daughter told the Daily News. McDuffie claimed for years he was the strapping sailor who planted one on the lips of the swooning woman on August 14, 1945. He said it was a spontaneous act of unbridled euphoria sparked by the announcement of Japan’s surrender.

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27 January 2014

Ex-'Comfort Woman' for Japanese in WWII Dies At 90, Bringing Number of Living South Korean Sex Slavery Survivors To 55

Hwang Kum-ja, a former 'comfort woman' forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during World War II, died at age 90. The total number of living South Korean victims of the practice during Japan's colonial rule of Korea is now 55.

Hwang was born in 1924, forced into a glass factory at age 13 and later sent to China for sexual slavery at 16, according to Yonhap. After the war, she returned to Korea and lived alone for the rest of her life. Hwang earned money by collecting garbage and receiving various government subsidies, Yonhap reported.

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20 January 2014

Hiroo Onoda, Japanese Soldier Who Spent 29 Years Unaware World War II Had Ended, Dies At Age of 91

Onoda was discovered in March 1974 living secretly in the Philippines island of Lubang. He surrendered when his former commander arrived to confirm the war was really over and reverse his original orders to remain on th eisland as a spy.

Onoda died Thursday at a Tokyo hospital after a brief stay there. Chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga on Friday expressed his condolences, praising Onoda for his strong will to live and indomitable spirit.

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18 November 2013

Mavis Batey, Bletchley Park Code Breaker In World War II, Dies At 92

Mavis Batey was a British student of 19, midway through her university course in German Romanticism, when she was recruited for a top-secret assignment during World War II.

In May 1940, Mrs. Batey — then the unmarried Mavis Lever — joined the team of code breakers at Bletchley Park, the British cryptography headquarters. Trained in the enemy’s language and endowed with a facility for words, she became a key contributor to a wartime project that remained classified for decades.

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18 October 2013

Great Escape Hero Who Helped Dispose of Soil From Famous Tunnel Dug by Prisoners at Nazi War Camp Stalag Luft III Dies Aged 91

One of the few remaining British survivors of a German prisoner of war camp immortalised in The Great Escape film has died aged 91.

Royal Air Force gunner Frank Stone, of Hathersage, Derbyshire, was taken to Stalag Luft III in Zagan as a teenager during the Second World War after his bomber crashed in Mannheim in 1940. He was in hut 104, home to 76 airmen who tried to escape via a 348ft tunnel in 1944. But the alarm was raised before Mr Stone, who had helped dispose of soil from the tunnel, could join them.

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13 June 2013

Oldest Man In History Jiroemon Kimura Dies At 116

A Japanese man recognised as the world's oldest living person, and the oldest man recorded in history, has died aged 116, local officials say. Jiroemon Kimura died of natural causes on Wednesday in a hospital in Kyotango, Kyoto, a government statement said.

In December, Guinness World Records recorded Mr Kimura as the oldest man ever verified to have lived. He reportedly had seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren. Mr Kimura was born on 19 April 1897, the same year as aviator Amelia Earhart.

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6 February 2013

Battle of Midway Hero Jim Muri Dies At 93

Jim Muri, a Montanan whose legendary flying prowess saved his stricken bomber and crew during the Battle of Midway in World War II, died Sunday at age 93.

Muri earned national recognition and became the subject of a popular song for his exploits during the battle, June 4-6, 1942. He piloted a twin-engine B-26 bomber, one of dozens of land-based aircraft that attacked a massive Japanese invasion fleet on the opening morning of the battle.

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5 December 2012

World's 'Oldest Person' Besse Cooper Dies Aged 116

The US woman listed as the world's oldest person has died. She was 116. Besse Cooper died peacefully on Tuesday at a nursing home near Atlanta, Georgia, said her son, Sidney Cooper.

Guinness said Ms Cooper is succeeded as the world's oldest living person by fellow American Dina Manfredini from Iowa, who is 115. The oldest person ever was French-born Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122 before dying in 1997.

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23 October 2012

Antoni Dobrowolski, Oldest Auschwitz Survivor, Dies

The oldest known survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp has died aged 108 in Debno, north-west Poland, officials say. A teacher, Antoni Dobrowolski was imprisoned for giving secret lessons during Germany's occupation of Poland.

Mr Dobrowolski was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to the Nazi concentration camp in 1942. He was later transferred to the Gross Rosen and Sachsenhausen camps in Germany, before being freed in 1945.

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18 September 2012

WWII Navy Medic who Witnessed First Iwo Jima Flag Raising Interred

Truett Wood, a Navy medic who witnessed the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi, was hailed at his funeral Monday as a "wonderful patriot."

“It was always an honor and a blessing to be associated with Truett Wood,” said Jesse Goldman, the chaplain for the Riverfront Marines, Detachment No. 1132, to a small gathering at Posey’s Funeral Home in North Augusta.

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26 June 2012

Last Gay Jewish Holocaust Survivor Dies

Gad Beck, an anti-Nazi Zionist resistance fighter and the last known gay Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, died on Sunday in Berlin. He passed away in a senior citizens' home six days before his 89th birthday, which would have been on June 30.

Beck was a pioneering gay activist and educator in a severely anti-homosexual, repressive post-World War II German society. He was famous for his witty, lively style of speaking.

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15 June 2012

Daughter of Civil War Veteran Dies at the Age of 94

The daughter of a Civil War veteran has died at the age of 94 in a retirement home after a battle with cancer. Stella Mae Case, who was born in 1918, was one of the last living Americans whose father fought in the epic conflict, according to U-T San Diego.

Although her father John Harwood Pierce died when she was seven years old, Case remembered seeing him dressed in his Civil War uniform for a Memorial Day parade.

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