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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning!

Harriett Allen, who knew a good desert when she saw one, has died after of lifetime of protecting the dry California environment. In her early 80s, a fellow activist spotted her in the Mojave Desert "camped in her sleeping bag at a 5,000-foot elevation -- and loving it."

On the opposite side of the country, Hugh Putnam devoted himself to forestry -- and his family, music and trains.

The physician to the first "test-tube baby" in the U.S. has died. Dr, Frederick Wirth was the neonatologist who cared for Elizabeth Jordan Carr after her birth on Dec. 28, 1981. She was born three years after Louise Brown, the world's first baby conceived via in-vitro fertilization, was born in England. More than a million babies since then have been conceived through in-vitro fertilization.

The inexorable march of time claims more and more veterans of World War II. Tadeusz Lesisz just died. He was a Pole who sailed with the British Royal Navy and was one of the the world's last surviving veterans to have served as an officer from the first day of the Second World War until its end.

In the it's-about-time category, fans of the late (late, late) writer Edgar Allen Poe gave him a proper send-off. Though already a distinguished writer at the time of his death, Poe died unexpectedly and largely destitute, and his original funeral is said to have been attended by only a handful. His death was announced on page 2 of The Baltimore Sun on Oct. 8, 1849, meriting just one paragraph.

By Patricia Sullivan  |  October 12, 2009; 8:11 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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