Lillian Gertrud Asplund

Lillian Gertrud Asplund

Miss Lillian Gertrud Asplund, 5, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on 21 October 1906, the daughter of Carl & Selma Asplund. Lillian was a fraternal twin and her twin brother was Carl Edgar.

Lillian's family came originally from Alsema in the Smaland region of Sweden but had for some years been settled in Massachusetts. In 1907 they had returned to Sweden to settle Mr. Asplund's father’s estate upon his death and to care for his mother. In 1912, Lillian's father, Carl O. Asplund, was set to go back to his previous position as a labourer at Spencer Wire Works in Worcester. According to a letter written by Mr. Asplund to his sister, the family was very much looking forward to returning to the United States. Four of Lillian's aunts (3 being her mother's sisters and 1 her father's) and their families lived in Worcester at the time.

In an interview conducted with Miss. Asplund, some time ago, she recalled the disaster and relayed how she remembered being passed through what she described as a window (later identified as the First Class Promenade Deck) into a descending lifeboat and looking back up at the sinking Titanic. Having left 3 of her brothers, including her twin, Carl, and her father onboard the doomed ship, she maintains she was haunted by their faces peering over the rail at her for much of her life. She recalled her father was holding her twin and her 2 older brothers were on each side of them. Lillian was rescued with her mother and brother, Felix. After rescue by the Carpathia, they were brought to St.Vincent's Hospital in New York City.

Upon their eventual arrival in Worcester, they resided at 151 Vernon St., the families original intended destination, at the home of Lillian's aunt and uncle. The devastated family had lost all of their possessions including their life savings on the Titanic. The city of Worcester, shortly thereafter, held a very successful fundraiser and benefit for the family with the total sum raised reaching nearly $2,000. That money was supposedly invested and the interest paid to the family with access to funds as needed. The mayor of Worcester at the time, the honourable Mayor David F. O'Connell, was one of the trustees. In 1951, Lillian and her family moved to Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

After the disaster, Lillian was employed at various secretarial jobs in Worcester but retired early to care for her elderly mother. Her mother passed away on the 52nd anniversary of the disaster that claimed the lives of 4 members of her family, at the age of 90. Her younger brother, Felix, passed away at the age of 73, 18 days shy of his 74th birthday. Neither Lillian or her brother ever married and never had children.

Lillian Gertrude Asplund was the last living survivor of the Titanic disaster with actual memories of it. She lived in Massachusetts until her death on 6th May 2006. Lillian's hobbies, when she was able, included gardening, flowers (especially roses) and it was said her favourite snack was pepperoni pizza. She declined ever to discuss the disaster, as had her mother.

References and Sources

Worcester Telegram Worcester Evening Gazette - various articles April - May 1912 Michael A. Findlay - E.T. discussion board posting August 30, 2002 Shelley Dziedzic - E.T. discussion board posting March 16, 2005 Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0

Research Articles

Titanica! (2018) Twins on the Titanic
How many sets of twins were on the Titanic

Newspaper Articles

Worcester Evening Gazette (17 April 1912) Safety of Former Residents of Worcester Causes Worry Among Friends In This City
Worcester Telegram (18 April 1912) Mrs. Charles Asplund and Three Children are Saved
Worcester Evening Post (19 April 1912) ASPLUND FAMILY TITANIC PASSENGERS IT IS FEARED
Worcester Evening Gazette (19 April 1912) MRS ASPLUND AND CHILDREN SAFE IN HOSPITAL AT N.Y.
Worcester Telegram (19 April 1912) Two of the Asplund Children are Lost
Worcester Telegram (20 April 1912) Four of the Asplunds are Titanic Victims
Boston American (21 April 1912) Worcester Titanic Benefit :  Aid for the Widow of Victim
Mrs Asplund and her fatherless children
Worcester Evening Gazette (22 April 1912) Worcester Friends Take Up Work of Aiding Titanic Survivors
Worcester Telegram (27 April 1912) Body of Charles Asplund, Titanic Victim, will be Buried in Worcester, Without Expense To Surviving Family
Worcester Telegram (30 April 1912) Fund for Relief of Mrs. Asplund and Her Children is Growing Slowly
Worcester Telegram (4 May 1912) Asplund Fund Totals $1031.25, But Body of Victim of Titanic Disaster Fails To Reach Worcester
Worcester Telegram (6 May 1912) Worcester Theater Concert Nets $800

Images

151 Vernon Street Home and Asplund Destination
Asplund Family headstone
Home and Hearth, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
The last Shrewsbury home
Lillian Asplund - Aged 5 years
Lillian Asplund's first Worcester Home
Memorial card for Miss Lillian G. Asplund
The Last Farewell
The Voyage of Life- Childhood
Together Once More
Svea (1912) Lillian, Selma and Felix Asplund 1912

Miscellaneous

Red Cross Fund Report on Asplunds

Graves and Memorials

Shelley Dziedzic (2006) At Rest - The Memorial Service for Miss Lillian G. Asplund
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

Death of Lillian Asplund 19062006 (104 posts)
Lillian Asplund Information (82 posts)
Why were Asplunds separated (30 posts)
The lost asplund children (9 posts)
Happy birthday to you Lillian 100 (8 posts)
Miss Lillian Asplund (8 posts)
My Lillian Asplund poem (6 posts)
Relics of Lillian Asplund found in Shoebox (5 posts)
Lillian Asplund The Last Witness July 30 2006 (5 posts)
NEW TITANIC SURVIVOR FOUND (4 posts)
The Asplunds (4 posts)
Last US Titanic Survivor Dies (4 posts)
Swedish survivor Lillian Asplund is still alive (3 posts)
Edvin Asplund (3 posts)
Asplund info (3 posts)
Boat 15 & the Asplund Family (3 posts)
Barbara West and Lillian Asplund (3 posts)
Death of Last US survivor (2 posts)
Last American survivor of the Titanic sinking dies at 99 (2 posts)
The Asplund parents (2 posts)
Selma and Carl Asplund's sister (2 posts)
Asplund's photos (2 posts)
Mr & Mrs Carl Asplund (2 posts)
This Morning (1 post)
The Asplund Family (1 post)
Selma Asplund in Missouri (1 post)

Credits

Gavin Bell, UK
Julie Anne Dowen, USA
Matt Endicott, USA
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Phillip Gowan, USA
Leif Snellman, Finland
Claes-Göran Wetterholm, Sweden

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2019) Lillian Gertrud Asplund (ref: #655, last updated: 1st March 2019, accessed 19th June 2021 19:00:27 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/lillian-gertrud-asplund.html

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