Eleanor I. Shuman dies; survived Titanic disaster

Chicago Sun-Times

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Eleanor I. Shuman of Elgin, a survivor of the 1912 Titanic disaster, died Saturday in Elgin"s Sherman Hospital. She was 87.

Mrs. Shuman was 1½ when she got on the last lifeboat, 15 minutes before the Titanic sank.

"Every year at the anniversary it is all I think of," she said in a 1995 interview. "Why was I saved?"

About 1,500 people died and 705 survived. Six survivors, ranging in age from 86 to 94, are still alive.

Mrs. Shuman saw the premiere of the movie "Titanic," and met director James Cameron. "He said I reminded him of Rose, the girl in the movie,"

Mrs. Shuman recalled later. "So when you see Rose, think of me."

Mrs. Shuman traveled third class, along with her mother, older brother, Harold, and a young woman who was being chaperoned by Mrs. Shuman's mother.

"When my mom was in the lifeboat with me, she looked to make sure the young woman had followed. She had not. She was still on the deck, holding Harold," Mrs. Shuman recalled in 1995."My mother called to her and told her to drop Harold. A man standing next to her lifted Harold from her and dropped him into the lifeboat." The young woman didn't make it.

Mrs. Shuman's account was based mostly on her mother's retelling. But she said she remembered being in her mother's arms while getting into the lifeboat.

"Whenever I tell anybody, they tell me I was too young. I couldn"t remember," she said. "It must have been a dream."

Before suddenly falling ill, Mrs. Shuman had been the scheduled guest of honor at last weekend's Titanic International Society convention in Florida. "She could never understand the public fascination with the Titanic," said society co-founder Michael Findlay. "But she welcomed it."
Mrs. Shuman is survived by a son, Earl, and two grandchildren.

Visitation for friends and family will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Laird Funeral Home, 310 S. State, Elgin. Services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will be in Lakewood Memorial Park in Elgin.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2003) Eleanor I. Shuman dies; survived Titanic disaster (Chicago Sun-Times, ref: #3286, published 28 July 2003, generated 1st August 2021 09:58:59 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/eleanor-i-shuman-dies-elgin.html