Death of Lillian Asplund 19062006

Mark Baber

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The language used above does nothing to advance knowledge

Which is why I said it should be avoided.

Let's return to the subject matter of this thread, shall we?
 

John Clifford

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Quote from the article: boston.com article:
quote:

One Titanic buff from South Carolina wanted to know when the services are so he could fly up here," Mangsen said.
My first thought: Is it Phil Gowan the person is mentioning?
The only others I can recall, from South Carolina would be Michael Standardt and Traci Smith.

Anyway, I hope Miss Asplund's service will be quiet and dignified; her friends and relatives deserve that.
I remember reading about how the funeral mass for Christa MacAuliffe was spoiled by the various reporters and news cameramen trying to get to ideal places to take pictures.

Again, if anyone from here attends the funeral service for Miss Asplund, I hope they find it to be private, peaceful, and dignified.

If Miss Asplund is buried next to her mother and/or brother, there will be many opportunities to take pictures of the gravesite, and to leave flowers there, as well.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>My first thought: Is it Phil Gowan the person is mentioning?
The only others I can recall, from South Carolina would be Michael Standardt and Traci Smith. <<

I saw the message that Phil posted on T-T indicating his intention to stay away from the funeral. I can't speak for Tracy but for myself, I never even called much less planned to attend as

a) I couldn't have even if I had wanted to and
b) I certainly didn't have the disposable income available for such a trip, and
c) I wasn't invited, nor was there any reason for me to be, and that by itself is the showstopper if nothing else is.

Regardless of whether we think that fame has a price, for Miss Asplund, it helps to know that the cost of that fame was in the tragic and horrifying deaths of three of her family, and that it was as expensive for her personally as it was unwanted.

We need to be mindful of the fact that the survivors of the Titanic are not public property, and our interest in them doesn't make them such. They're people who have the same right to be treated with dignity and with due repect for their privacy as any one of us would demand for ourselves.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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I attended the funeral services today, and yes, it was a dignified and beautiful service both at the chapel and the grave site, despite the rain. I am taking time tonight to put together an account, rather than a hurried posting. Sixty-two were in attendance, and all was orderly and very moving. Press was kept outside, and with one or two exceptions, the media behaved for the most part.
 

John Clifford

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Thanks for the information.

Michael, I felt the same way you did. It would not be possible for me to get to the funeral, nor did I have a reason to attend, since I never spoke to, nor ever met, Miss Asplund. I like to think that she did live a good life (not concentrating on the Titanic), and that she is at peace, after a long life.

Looking back on things, I decided not to save the New York Times and Los Angeles Times articles about Miss Asplund's death, as she was not one I ever knew.

I also saw the other site, where Phil noted his decision not to attend the service.

Shelley, I am glad to read that "Press was kept outside, and with one or two exceptions, the media behaved for the most part".
I will look forward to reading your account of the services.
I hope Miss Asplund was buried next to her mother and/or brother, and that a beautiful gravestone/marker was made for her (without references to the Titanic, of course).
 

Inger Sheil

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I have a feeling I know who the person from SC was. If I'm correct, then it is someone for whom I have a very high regard, and who I do not believe would ever be intrusive or disrespectful with survivors or the families of those who sailed.

I'm glad to hear that the funeral was conducted without the circus-like atmosphere that some anticipated, Shelley. As was noted on another board by one very prominent researcher, whatever schisms there are in the Titanic community, most serious researchers know how to conduct themselves with dignity at a solemn event such as this.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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John, Miss Asplund was buried with her family. and to confirm a question asked earlier in the week, only the surname Asplund is carved into the front and back center of the headstone. Samantha,regarding your observation, today I checked on the city address posted on the photograph of the first Asplund home, which is 6 Rodney Street (corner of Rodney and Rt 9), and you were quite right, it is not in Shrewsbury, but in Worcester- the Shrewsbury city line was about a mile further east. I will correct this on the profile images.
I believe all were much relieved that the rumor of a media-circus did not come to fruition, most especially the director of the chapel, with whom I had opportunity to speak after the grave side ceremony, and I believe much is owed to his foresight and firmness in carrying out what would have certainly been the desires of Miss Lillian herself and those of the cousins, family, neighbors and friends.
 
Jul 14, 2002
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Hello All,

I just watched a short video from NECN (New England Cable News) concerning the funeral services of Lillian. In the short video, it shows a picture of Lillian in a hospital bed, looking very advanced in her age, surrounded by two women. I am not sure who took this picture or who gave the picture to NECN. In the picture Lillian (at least I assumed it was, though one cannot be sure) was smiling and looked pleasent.

Any comments or reflections? I can only imagine how upset Lillian would be to have this photo shown to countless people...and I am feel bad having seen it.

Best,
Eric
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Any comments or reflections? I can only imagine how upset Lillian would be to have this photo shown to countless people...<<

I think somebody had some *very* bad taste in getting that photo to the newsies unless it was authorized by Miss Asplund herself ahead of time or her lawful heirs, agents and assigns. Personally, I doubt Miss Asplund would have done so. (I could be wrong.) She wanted no part of the fame that came with being on a ship that sank, and killed a significant portion of her family. But then the media isn't always renowned for the most ethical conduct in such affairs, nor are some of their sources.

Don't feel bad about having seen it. It's not as if you can control the editorial content of what a broadcaster shows to the world.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>But then the media isn't always renowned for the most ethical conduct in such affairs, nor are some of their sources.

I question the taste of whomever it was that released the news of her death to the media BEFORE the funeral. I doubt, very much, that her family would have potentially unleashed the sort of media barrage Miss Asplund avoided in life by doing so themselves. Was she, or were they, 'sold out' by a friend, or someone party to the details of her death and funeral coordination?
 

John Clifford

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As far as Miss Asplund's death, once it became public knowledge, there was really no way it could be kept from the media. It is likely that others may have just been "matter-of-fact" about the fact that she was on the Titanic, perhaps with the thought that the attention would be "short-lived" (for want of a better phrase).

Regarding the media, I, for one, have noted that many reporters can possess a "vulture-like" quality when covering a story.

Others, as we saw in regards to the Boston Globe articel, listed above, or Andrea Peyser's New York Post article about the Queen Mary 2 and the Brooklyn Terminal, have demonstrated the tactless practice of the "broad brush stroke" of unnecessarily portraying one group of people in denigrating terms, which has the potential to infuriate others who might agree with the point of view given (also known as the idea of "a few bad apples spoils the whole bunch").

I am glad, however, to hear that the funeral services were allowed to be conducted with the dignity that Miss Asplund deserves.
Shelley, thank you for letting us know that, and, again, I look forward to reading your accounts.
 

Mike Poirier

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That's a very good question Jim. I could see if a friend and family lawyer talked to the press, in order to get an accurate story in the paper, but other than him or other friends or family members, or the concerned people at the funeral home, I don't understand any other reason why a person would go to the press with the news. Let's hope there will be more commemorating her life in whole that will be coming forth from people who knew her and loved her. Not just Titanic.
 

Mauro Zungri

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Dear shelley and John: Thanks to deal this so delicate subject with the devido respect. This message in fact goes unemployment all. Shelley thanks for its commentaries with respect to Mrs. Asplund and like me to find the form to be able to ask as I can raise the site some photos of my uncle Marshall Drew.
Again Thanks! and sorry by my inglish
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Eric, in regards to your comments about an unauthorized release of a personal image, it brings up the age-old dilemma of what is in the best interest of the persons involved and their desires, (which in my mind should have every consideration), what is in the interest of history in the long run, and what is merely taking advantage of a person, who for whatever reason is the hot topic of interest on a global scale, (thereby, in the minds of some, fair game for exploitation).

It is a delicate line to straddle requiring the best of motives and sensitivity. When the late Walter Lord entered his decline, he was helpless in every sense of the word to control those who would photograph him and how any images taken by visitors might be used. The best bet, I suppose, is to try to surround yourself with friends and people who can be trusted as we become infirm and powerless. Even then, there emerges a possibility that an acquaintance, who will think it makes no difference now, as he/she is no longer on earth to suffer embarassment or deprivation of privacy, will run to the Press.

Ours is a visual society demanding images, faces, proofs, -where all is laid bare, not to mention the misguided aim of being the first to uncover some aspect of a private life and the attention, (often positive), that would garner. To be private is to now be thought uncooperative or anti-social. Long distance zoom lenses, paparazzi, hidden cameras- there is no end, nor do I believe we will see a return to gentler times. Some are strong enough to stand the pressure, some become victims of a relentless thirst for newsworthy copy. One of the saddest cases in recent days must be that of the late Princess of Wales.

Perhaps the individual who released the photo of an ageing and bedridden Miss Asplund thought it was a wonderful thing and would be wounded if anyone critcised. We are all, in the end of life, very much at the mercy of others, and one prays that those in whom we trust will be mindful of our desires- and merciful.
 

John Clifford

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quote:

Any comments or reflections? I can only imagine how upset Lillian would be to have this photo shown to countless people...and I am feel bad having seen it
Eric, I have not seen that video image, nor do I wish to do so.
I wonder if Lillian Asplund would have preferred people to remember her from that photo image in the May 8th Worcester Telegram article?

My maternal grandmother spent her last years in a Connecticut nursing home, and was not in good shape (she died at age 82 in 1973). She was a very proud woman who would have liked people to have remembered her in her younger years (including some great pictures of her with my grandfather, my mom, and my aunt and uncle).

Just a thought: forget that video image (for anyone who saw it) and think of Lillian Asplund as she was, and as she probably would like to be remembered.​
 

Jim Kalafus

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>I wonder if Lillian Asplund would have preferred people to remember her from that photo image in the May 8th Worcester Telegram article?

From what I gather, and from her refusal to discuss the Titanic in public, I'd be willing to say "neither." My assumption is that Miss Asplund would have preferred to have been quietly remembered by friends, family, and the few researchers she 'took in,' and to have had her death marked by an obituary (perhaps bearing a favorite photo) and not by television crews.
 

Mauro Zungri

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Today sailing by Internet I saw two photos. 1 - Group of people back of graves with the last name “Asplund”￾. That photo is quite discreet.
2 - It is seen a young man in the cemetery next to a drawer that it gives to understand I articulate that to be Mrs. Asplund. That I do not like for anything me very badly of pleasure.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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That disruptive young man in the yellow sweater was a visitor passing through from South America I believe. He saw the mention of the service in the newspaper. He spent most of the committal service taking photos of himself by the headstone and leaping around to get the best camera angles during the interment. There were a great many people there who would like to have sent him to another planet for a vacation. Unbelievable.