Last Boer War veteran
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The last survivor of the Boer War, who was believed to be Canada's oldest man, has died in British Columbia at the age of 111, his daughter said Wednesday.
George Ives was lucid right up until Monday morning, when he succumbed to a flu virus, daughter Audrey Davidson said.
"He just turned and gave up. He just didn't have the strength to fight the virus," Ms. Davidson said in an interview from the Vancouver suburb of Aldergrove.
Mr. Ives, who had 12 great-great-grandchildren, became an international celebrity last fall after being invited to a veterans' remembrance festival at Royal Albert Hall in London, the daughter said.
Acknowledged to be the last living soldier of the Boer War (1899-1902), he was the last person legally allowed to wear the Queen Victoria Medal, and laid a wreath at the memorial in Whitehall.
During his weeklong stay in London, he had tea with the Queen Mother and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and had coffee with Diana, the Princess of Wales, and with the wife of Prime Minister John Major.
"His heart was good and it just kept beating. He used to have a drink of brandy every night right up until the last few days," Ms. Davidson said.
Mr. Ives was born in Brighton, England, on Nov. 17, 1881, and came to the Canadian Prairies in 1903. He farmed for most of his life in Alberta, but moved to Vancouver when he was 64 and worked in a boat-building yard.
His wife Kitty died in 1987 when she was 98, and Mr. Ives moved into a retirement home. "He was unhappy after Mom died. They'd been married for 76 1/2 years," Ms. Davidson said.
In a 1990 interview, Mr. Ives credited his longevity to having a good wife, good genes and good work habits. His father lived to 99, his mother to 98.
Mr. Ives is survived by son Jack, 76, daughters Audrey, 74, and Vicki Conn, 72; 15 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; and 12 great-great-grandchildren.
* The Rev. Charles F. Suver,The Rev. Charles F. Suver, 86, a Navy chaplain in World War II who offered a Mass on Mount Suribachi hours after the flag was raised at Iwo Jima, died of cancer Sunday in Seattle.
* Katherine "Kay" Pancoast,Katherine "Kay" Pancoast, a nationally known ceramic artist, died Monday in Miami. She was 92. Ms. Pancoast created ceramic tile murals and three-dimensional art for private homes and public museums, including Miami's Fairchild Tropical Garden. Her most ambitious work was five large carved tile murals that depict Lord Nelson's ships. The work was commissioned for the Lord Nelson Hotel in Nova Scotia and later donated to the Confederation of the Arts museum on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
* Klaus Piltz,Klaus Piltz, the head of Veba AG, one of Germany's largest companies, died along with his son and daughter in an avalanche in the Austrian Alps, the company said Wednesday. Mr. Piltz was hiking with six others when they were buried in snow near Soelden in Austria's east Tirol region. Mr. Piltz, his son Klaus Jr., 18, daughter Uta, 20, and a family friend identified as Ansgar Rumler, 28, were found dead. Their bodies were recovered Tuesday.
* Fred J. Peterson,Fred J. Peterson, founder of Peterson Builders Inc., a manufacturer credited with building the first Navy minesweepers in 1951, died Monday in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. He was 98.
* Nancy Moore Thurmond,Nancy Moore Thurmond, daughter of U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, died Wednesday in Columbia, S.C., after being run down by an alleged drunken driver. She was 22. Ms. Thurmond was a criminal justice major at the University of South Carolina, had applied to law school and was a contestant in the Miss South Carolina pageant last summer.
* Maxine Flora Finsterwald,Maxine Flora Finsterwald, a playwright and short-story writer who used the pen name Maxine Wood, died of congestive heart failure April 7 at Summit Hospital in Oakland, Calif. She was 87. Miss Finsterwald was best known as the author of the 1946 Broadway production "On Whitman Avenue," which dealt with racial discrimination in housing encountered by a black veteran of World War II. The play, which starred Canada Lee and Will Geer, ran for 148 performances. Miss Finsterwald was born in Marion, Wis., and grew up in Detroit. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1928, and studied drama at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh. Her published plays include "The Severed Cord" (1929), "Seven Against One" (1930) and "Sandals and Golden Heels" (1948).
* Edna Amadon Toney,Edna Amadon Toney, a writer, an actress and a producer, died of liver cancer Tuesday at her home in Katonah, N.Y. She was 79. Mrs. Toney began her acting career with the WPA Theater Project in New York in the 1930s and was a writer for the "Kraft Music Hall" radio show, also in New York, in the mid-1940s. She was the author of several books, including "How to Become a Famous Playwright" and "Stuff and Nonsense." Her books were published by her under the name of Hanotak Kroywen (Katonah, New York, spelled backward).