Since writing my original post on my Dad’s Great Aunt Lavinia (‘Vean’) Pratt Angus (b. 9 February 1859, to James Angus and Wealthy Jaques), I’ve come across some old letters of hers as well as this brief obituary. In my original post, I’d assumed Lavinia passed away in the 1940s, but in fact she made it to 1953/54, reaching the age of 94. She and her cousin Nettie Angus Moulden, who was four years older than Vean and nearly reached the age of 106, appear to be the longest lived Angus children of their generation.
From reading Vean’s letters, I can tell that she was sharp as a tack at least almost to the end. It turns out that her old housemate Elizabeth Booth, mentioned in the original post, was actually a cousin of hers, but I still have not figured out how they were related.
Vean ended up leaving Montclair, NJ, in late 1949/early 1950 to move down to spend her final years with her niece Mildred Woodruff Brown (my grandmother’s sister) in Clayton, Gloucester County, New Jersey. Mildred (b. 1884) had been married to Dr. G. Carlton Brown, 25 years her senior, and was by then a widow.
In one of Vean’s letters to my grandmother (her niece Fannie Woodruff Brodhead), she revealed that she used to refer to her older sister Wealthy (Fannie’s mom) as ‘Jennie’—and that explains the question I had had about Wealthy’s ‘trendy autographed fan’ in this post. At the time, one astute reader had commented that Jennie used to be a nickname in the 1800s, and she was exactly right to suggest that that could have been the case with the inscription left on Wealthy’s fan.
Now, unfortunately, the obituary notice does not indicate the newspaper in which it appeared or the date. But, since she was 94, it would have to have been published between 9 February 1953 and 8 Feb 1954. If I ever find the exact date, I’ll update this post. Then the ‘mystery’ of when exactly Vean passed away will be solved completely. But, of course it’s not the start and end dates that matter, but everything in between, and it certainly seems like Vean lived life to the fullest and made the most of all the years she was given.