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 Jean McVittie

Jean McVittie

Birth
Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Death 18 Oct 1974 (aged 73)
Norwalk, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered, Specifically: Remains spread on the Roman road overlooking Langholm, Scotland. Memorial stone in Langholm Cemetery
Memorial ID 18264202 · View Source
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Born in the mill town of Langholm, Jean came to the United States in 1930 as a governous for the Hecht family of Baltimore, Maryland. Her charge, Joan Ellenor Hecht, would become a life long friend and Jean would even help in the raising of Joan's two children. In the end, Joan would carry Jean's cremated remains back home to Langholm where they would be spread along the ancient Roman road overlooking the town where Jean spent her youth.

It was September 3, 1939 and the Second World War was underway. Jean and Joan (age 11) were returning from a summer vacation in Scottland aboard the S.S. Athenia when the ship was torpedoed by the German submarine U-30 and sunk in the north Atlantic off the Outer Hebrides. 128 passengers died that night and after 10 hours in a life boat the survivors were picked up by the British destroyer H.M.S. Escort. Jean and Joan were among the survivors because of Jean. A Baltimore newspaper dated September 8, 1939 says it best. "..There is no governess like a Scots governess. This young woman had the forethought to dress both her charge and herself in warm clothing. Before they went over the side into the lifeboat, she remembered to tie a purse to her wrist. Now that she and Joan are safely ashore, she is taking the child to her own home until passage back to the United States can be arranged."

Jean was an avid golfer and told me that she would play in winter using a red ball. She was a wonderful, loving and loyal friend to all who knew her.

She died of cardiac arrest in her apartment.


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  • Created by: grayslate
  • Added: 6 Mar 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18264202
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jean McVittie (12 Dec 1900–18 Oct 1974), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18264202, ; Maintained by grayslate (contributor 46891280) Cremated, Ashes scattered, who reports a Remains spread on the Roman road overlooking Langholm, Scotland. Memorial stone in Langholm Cemetery.