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Vivian Lousie Illing

Vivian Lousie Illing After a long and remarkably healthy life, Vivian Louise Illing, the oldest survivor of the 1906 Earthquake, died on January 22, 2009. Born in West Newton, MA., on Christmas Day 1900, she moved with her family to San Francisco in 1903. She was the third of four children of Juan Jose Rego de Cora of Spain and Elvira Martinez de Pedroso of Havana. A pattern of long life in her family was established by her first American ancestor, Diego de Sotolongo, who came to Cuba in 1517 and died there at 94, the oldest man on the island. Illing attended public schools in San Francisco and was active in women's clubs, gardening and reading. A great raconteur, she entertained many generations with her vivid memories of the earthquake and the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition. Famous for her good cheer, quick wit and broad cultural interests, she was a remarkable personality who left a fondly indelible imprint on all who had the good fortune to know her. She is survived by her son Robert Illing of Oporto, Portugal and three grandchildren, also in Oporto, Ariana, Alexander and Rebecca Illing. Funeral services will be at St Francisco Episcopal Church, 399 San Fernado Way, San Francisco on Thursday January 29th at 2 p.m.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 27, 2009
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