Gretchen Longley Leopold


Phillip Gowan

Member
Apr 10, 2001
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I think it a bit ironic that this Titanic survivor lived to tell about the disaster--and then died on another ship--thought the following clipping might be of interest to some on the message board:

(Taken from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, August 12, 1965, page 33, column 5)

GRETCHEN LEOPOLD, TITANIC SURVIVOR, DIES ABOARD SHIP

Mrs. Gretchen Longley Leopold, a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic in the North Atlantic in 1912, died yesterday aboard the SS Constitution in the Mediterranean.

She was the widow of Dr. Raymond S. Leopold, former executive vice president of Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital.

Mrs. Leopold, who formerly operated an antique shop at 8127 Germantown Ave., lived at the Emlen Arms, 6733 Emlen St.

The Titanic, which was on its maiden voyage, struck an iceberg with 2,207 passengers aboard.

There was room for Mrs. Leopold in the third life boat, but she refused to leave without two aunts. They were taken off on the fourth and last lifeboat able to put out from the stricken ship.

Surviving are two daughters and 11 grandchildren.
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Even more ironic, Phil...

Gretchen Leopold Hyde, Gretchen Longley's daughter, told me that she and her mother were speaking about the Titanic disaster on the day Mrs. Leopold died aboard the S.S. Constitution. According to Mrs. Hyde, she stated that her mother did not speak of the Titanic often but the subject came up because of the circumstances of being aboard another ocean liner. Mrs. Leopold apparently gave an riveting lecture about her Titanic experiences to her usual table companions at dinner on August 10, 1965. Questions and answers followed. After that, Mrs. Leopold and her daughter retired for the evening. During the night, Mrs. Leopold suffered a heart attack and died in her cabin at the age of 74. Gretchen Hyde still recalls the irony associated with her mother's death so soon after speaking about the Titanic.

Even stranger and more ironic, Bob DiSogra, The President of Titanic International Society, was a waiter aboard the Constitution on that voyage and still remembers Mrs. Leopold's death. He had no idea that Mrs. Leopold was a Titanic survivor until many years later.

Titanic survivors usually know how to handle themselves aboard a ship. When Louise Pope experienced difficulty in adjusting her lifebelt aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1991, an obliging fellow passenger offered assistance. Lou smiled and thanked her but remained firm. "Oh, no thank you, I have plenty of experience putting one of these on," she replied to the amusement of those who knew and heard her.

Mike Findlay
 
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Tieler Niedzwiecki

Guest
Hi,

Does anyone know if that S.S. Consitution was the same one that later sailed with American Hawaii Cruises and was scrapped a few years back. If that's the case it would be even more strange because it sank on her way over to the scrappers. Thank you for all the info. Tieler.
 
Apr 16, 2001
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Hi Tieler,

You are correct. The S.S. Constitution was the same one that later sailed with the American Hawaii Cruise Line.

After a long and successful career, and plagued with asbestos, the Constitution sank during a storm and lies beneath 2,000 feet of water, 900 miles north of Hawaii.

Regards,

Mike Findlay
 
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Tieler Niedzwiecki

Guest
I thought it was the same ship. What a shame! I didn't get a chance to sail on her but I have the Independence. I wish they would build more classical ships like they used to. Thank you for the info. Tieler.
 

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