Hildur, an only child, never married or had children. She continued to live with her parents at a little, more or less dilapidated farm near Cato, New York all of her adult life. She has a first cousin in Canada who told me that they always loved to visit the Hirvonens because there were chickens and other farm animals to play with and so many old buildings and barns to explore. Although not fancy digs, it was a fun place for the children to visit.
When Hildur was in her mid 40's she was diagnosed with cancer and died on April 12, 1956 at the age of 46. Both parents survived her and her mother, also a Titanic survivor, died on May 17, 1961. The husband and father, Alex Hirvonen, lived out his last years in a hotel room having lost his entire family. Despondent even after several years of being a widower and in failing health, he committed suicide on March 17, 1964. What possessions remained passed to Alex Hirvonen's sister in Buffalo, New York and to her two children.
Philip also writes about Eino Lindquist from Finland in the White Star Journal. He mentions that Eino lived in a state mental institution for years. A stroke took his life at 66, but do anybody know in which town it was, and which date and year he died?
According to the Western Pennsylvania History magazine, an issue two years ago I read this: "Helga Hirvonen claimed to have shared a lifeboat with J. Bruce Ismay, the director of the White Star line".
According to ET biography Ismay escaped in collapsible C, and Mrs Hirvonen escaped probably in lifeboat 15.
Philip Gowan wrote an excellent article about the Finland Titanic survivors Hildur and Helga Hirvonen and Eino Lindquist in the Irish Titanic society magazine a couple of years ago. In fact, according to Philip, Lindquist had been lost in America for 60 years.(Found in year 2000)
I hope to add a few things to this story, as I have the obituaries about Hildur E. Hirvonen and Eric Hirvonen. Eric was not on the Titanic. He had gone to America a year earlier.
From obituary about Hildur: "Hildur E. Hirvonen who lived in the town of Victory 20 years, was a graditute of Porter Junior Highschool and of Central City Business Institute, Syracuse. Services were in the Millard A Mutt & Sons funeral chapel, Cato N.Y. Interment was in Union Hill Cemetery. Cato." (Cato Citizen April 19 1956)
From obituary about Eric:
"A 77 year old resident of the Cato Hotel was found dead in his room Tuesday by the hotel owner Harold Bishop.
Eric A Hirvonen, 77, originally of Martville, was ruled dead by Cayuga County Coronier Dr. Normann L. Woodford and Deputy Coroner Dr. Omer Poirier by hanging. They issued a verdict of suicide.
Bishop went to the room after Mr. Hirvonen falled to show up for his usual afternoon discussion with a friend.
The body was releassed to Jewell Funeral Home.
Surviving is one niece, Mrs Henry Larson of Buffalo.
Funeral services will be at the Jewell Funeral Home in Cato. Burial will be in Cato Union Hill cemetery". (Unidendified newspaper November 3 1964)
Anybody know anything about the niece, Mrs Henry Larson of Buffalo?
There seems to be few details published about Titanic passenger Hildur Hirvonen. The Cato Citizen, Cato N.Y. U.S.A. carried her obituary April 19 1956. According to this she lived in the town of Victory for 20 years, was a graditute of Porter Junior High school and of Central City Business Institute, Syracuse.
In the same newspaper was the obituary of her father Eric Hirvonen March 19 1964. He was found dead in his room in the Cato Hotel where he lived by hanging. The hotel owner called the sheriff department to investigate. His daughter Hildur was mentioned as a Titanic survivor. Surviving was only one niece, Mrs Henry Larson of Buffalo, Funeral was at the Jewell Funeral Home in Cato.I hope this may be a thread for those who want to do some research on the Hirvonen family. It was not mentioned how long these two had lived in Cato.
[Moderator's Note: Four separate threads about these passengers have been combined to form this one. MAB]