William "Bill" Del Monte (1906 - 2016)
By: Legacy Staff
2 years ago
The last survivor of the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906 has died, a relative confirmed Monday, according to The Associated Press.
William A. "Bill" Del Monte died Monday at a retirement home in Marin County, California. He was 11 days short of his 110th birthday. His niece, Janette Barroca of San Francisco, confirmed his death of natural causes.
He'd been doing "great for 109 years old," Barroca said Monday.
Del Monte was just 3 months old when the great earthquake happened. His family escaped in a horse-drawn carriage while the fire burned around them.
His father had opened the well-known Italian restaurant Fior d'Italia restaurant on Broadway in 1886. The restaurant was destroyed in the quake, but eventually, they reopened in a tent. By 1915, the Italian restaurant was doing big business again, according to a 2011 San Francisco Chronicle story.
Del Monte ran a San Francisco Bay Area theater for many years.
Ruth Newman was the oldest remaining survivor of the earthquake before her death last summer. She was 113.
Del Monte usually attended the annual earthquake commemorations events in San Francisco, which include a get-together at Lotta's Fountain in downtown.
The earthquake and fires claimed more than 1,000 people. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, measurements of the quake have ranged from magnitude 7.7 to 8.3.
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