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maryportfuncity

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Well, it's over 24 hours since I started a thread so...

The death of Mrs Ralph Vaughan-Williams was a timely reminder of the existence of widows much younger than their more famous husbands and wives. I think it's time we pooled our knowledge on those obit-worthy if low-profile survivors. The likes of Imelda Marcos, Betty Ford and Nancy Reagan are already on the DL radar. Let's limit this collection to those out of the headlines but still obit-worthy to DDP standards and beyond. I'd wager the following brace would score, even by the exacting standards of the CPDP.

Step forward, Bing's bed-steady: Kathryn Crosby

and

Prime Minister's poetess partner: Mary Wilson.

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Margot Honecker, who narrowly missed being in my widows and childern theme team in Canadian Paul's dead pool

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margot_Honecker

 

Barbara Marx, who was married to two famous men, though not at the time

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Marx

 

 

Aren't Eric and Ernies widows still with us?

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Doreen Blythe - aka Mrs Ernie Wise - is still going, not sure about Eric's other half. Doreen was a performer, though I don't think her dancing career would get her national obits. DDP fodder at best the Morcambe and Wise spouses, IMHO.

 

But another one springs to mind. Joy Beverley of The Beverley Sisters was - sort of - the Posh Spice of the mid fifties. 79 and still breathing! Mentioned elsewhere on the DL, but worth reviving here.

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Not sure how famous - but sure she would get an obit...

 

Norris Church Mailer - widow of the late Norman - . although it seems she may have some competition from a mistress. Nice going when you are in your 70's.....

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Lady Gertrude Bliss, widow of Sir Arthur, is now 104.

 

Bette Hill, widow of Graham.

Dolores Hope, widow of Bob.

 

All three should get UK obits, no question.

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Lady Susana Walton, the widow of Sir William Walton will be 82 on August 30th - suprisingly young considering that Sir William died in 1983 at the age of 80. A definite obit., but she's looking and sounding very healthy. Probably not a keeper.

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Maudie Hopkins has died (in Dutch, anyway). She was the last known surviving widow of a Civil War veteran.

 

Man, that war finished like ages ago or summat.

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Maudie Hopkins has died (in Dutch, anyway). She was the last known surviving widow of a Civil War veteran.

 

Man, that war finished like ages ago or summat.

 

 

My, she may as well have been called Anneke Nikole de Smedt! Translation courtesy of Steve McClaren.

 

Maudie Hopkins have died; she was probably the very last widow of a veteran of the American civil war (1861-1865). Born as Maudie Acklin she married in 1934, (she was then 19) with the 86 person whose birthday it is William M. Cantrell, in the hope this way to its poorly existed being able escape. Cantrell had gone on its 16th at the army of the Geconfedereerden, where he did service at the Virginia Infantry. He was arrested in 1863, and returned vervolgens thanks to a prisoner gevangenenruil. To be first woman had died in 1929. In 1937, them remarried after Cantrells dead, and got children still 3. They kept firstly its marriage hid, from fear for the geroddel which would come by marrying with a much older man. Apparently it was not unusual that young women in Arkansas married with civil war veterans, because in 1937, a law which, was still voted stated that women who married with veterans could not claim a widow pension (what was later still changed to all widows who were born after 1870). Maudie became 93.

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Betty Wainwright, widow of the legendary Alfred, who died in 1991, has died aged 86. She was his second wife.

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Betty Wainwright, widow of the legendary Alfred, who died in 1991, has died aged 86. She was his second wife.

 

The sexless and turgid marriage with the first Mrs Wainwright was a major part of the reason he started walking miles and locking himself away to write and draw. The second Mrs W was much younger than him and - altogther - a good thing in his life. Sad news.

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Doreen Wiseman - widow of Ernie Wise - is reported to have stumped up the £8000 for a statue of her late husband in Morley, Yorkshire. She's still alive, and still without a Wikipedia page.

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Does anyone know if Tommy Cooper's widow, Gwen, is still alive? She would be in her late eighties by now. According to Wiki, Tommy was a bit of a violent husband when he was drunk.

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In the interests of diversity I'd better mention that Tove Jansson's long term partner is still alive. She did the illustrations for the Moomin books so she may scrape an obit.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuulikki_Pietil%C3%A4

 

Stumbling across this thread clicked on the wikipedia link and discovered Tuulikki Pietilä died back in February. Couldn't find an English-language obit though, which is a shame as she's mentioned in Tove Jansson's Guardian obit (though spelt Tuulikka Pietelä).

 

Here's a Finnish one instead, from Helsingin Sanomat.

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Re Tommy Cooper, the words below are from Wiki, which doesn't mention his widow's death so the chances are she's still going. More than can be said of one of his sons who seems to have died of drink related causes.

 

Cremated at Mortlake Crematorium in London.[9] Cooper was survived by his wife, Gwen (whom he called 'Dove'), and two children, Thomas and Vicky. Thomas died just four years later from cirrhosis of the liver.

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Re Tommy Cooper, the words below are from Wiki, which doesn't mention his widow's death so the chances are she's still going. More than can be said of one of his sons who seems to have died of drink related causes.

 

Bottle, glass - glass, bottle.

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Actress Jill Balcon, daughter of Ealing film mogul Michael, widow of former Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis and mother of mad method actor Daniel, is still going at 84. I'd think she'd get an obit but she may well be as healthy as an ox. Or a flea.

 

(Edit: she seemed ok in this interview from two years ago.

Interestingly, C Day-Lewis had an affair with actress/novelist Elizabeth Howard, the still-living widow of naturalist Sir Peter Scott and Kingsley Amis. Extra-marital rumpy-pumpy is clearly no hindrance to a long life).

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Extra-marital rumpy-pumpy is clearly no hindrance to a long life.

 

Assuming one doesn't get found out.

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The pleasingly named Janet Banana, widow of Zimbabwe's former President Canaan Banana, sought political asylum in the UK in 2000. She seems to have gone to ground a bit since then. This article from 2002 says she was living on £10 a week and her Wiki page says she became a UK citizen in 2006.

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I've been trying to find anything on the current health of Margaret Tebbit, without much success. Obviously, she isn't a widow, or owt, but she's very old, obit-worthy for sure, and suffering permanent health problems since the IRA caught up with her.

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