Millvina Dean, British civil servant, Died at 97

  Dead Famous

Dead, Elizabeth Gladys Millvina Dean on the 31st of May 2009 at the age of 97, she was a British civil servant and cartographer.

Born in Branscombe, England, to Bertram Frank Dean (1886–1912) and Georgette Eva Light (1879–1975), she had a brother, Bertram Vere Dean, born on the 21st of May 1910.

Dean’s parents decided to leave England and immigrate to Wichita, Kansas, where her father had relatives and his cousin owned a tobacco shop that he was going to co-own.

They were not supposed to be aboard the Titanic, but due to a coal strike, they were transferred onto it and boarded it as third-class passengers at Southampton, England.

Dean was barely two months old when she boarded the ship. Her father felt its collision with the iceberg on the night of 14 April 1912, and after investigating, returned to his cabin, telling his wife to dress the children and go up on deck.

Dean, her mother, and brother were placed in Lifeboat 10 and were among the first third-class passengers to escape.

Later it was discovered that 705 people survived the disaster. Millvina’s father, however, the 25-year-old Bertram Frank Dean, was one of the 1,500 who perished.

Like many of the men aboard, he stayed on the ship and died when it sank early the following morning.

His body, if recovered, was never identified.

At first, Millvina’s mother, wanted to go on to Kansas and fulfill her husband’s wish of a new life in America.

But with no husband and two small children to care for, she decided to go home.

After two weeks in a New York hospital, Millvina, her mother, and brother, returned to England aboard the Adriatic.

In December 2008, at age 96, Dean was forced to sell several of her family’s possessions to pay for her private medical care following a broken hip. These included a letter sent to her mother from the Titanic Relief Fund, and a suitcase given to her and her mother in New York following the sinking. Their sale raised approximately £32,000.

In February 2009, she announced that she would be selling several more items to pay for her increasing medical costs which she said exceeded £3,000 a month.

Dean has achieved a level of fame from her association with the storied shipwreck. For years, she shied away from the attention, but in her later years embraced her part in the story of the Titanic.

Dean traveled extensively to attend Titanic related events. And she proved that she had no fear of the sea in 1997, when she was invited to cross the Atlantic on another famous vessel, the Queen Elizabeth 2.

With the pain of her father’s death still fresh her in mind at age 95, Millvina openly criticized the BBC for “poking fun” at the Titanic tragedy during a Doctor Who Christmas special in December 2007.

“The Titanic was a tragedy which tore so many families apart,” she said from her nursing home.

“I lost my father and he lies on that wreck. I think it is disrespectful to make entertainment of such a tragedy.”