Irma Mae Weule

Irma Mae Weule (1899 - August 8, 2008) was an American survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Weule was believed to be the oldest living survivor of the 1906 earthquake at the time of her death in 2008. She was a lifelong resident of San Francisco.

Irma Mae was born in San Francisco in 1899.sfgate/> Her father, Louis Nonnenmann, was a successful businessman who ran a wholesale meatpacking business.sfgate/> Mae lived with her family in a large home in the Butchertown section of the Bayview district.sfgate/> The area was so rural at the time of the 1906 earthquake that Mae's family kept a cow in the backyard.sfgate/>

Weule had clear memories of the 1906 eathquake, which occured when she was a child.sfgate/> She recalled that her family's home included a social hall in the basement, which her father used to shelter entire families of earthquake refugees in 1906.sfgate/>

Mae attended Cogswell College in San Francisco.sfgate/> She worked for the USO during World War I.sfgate/> In 1923 Mae married her husband, Harold Weule, a member of a succesful family which manufactured and sold nautical instruments near the San Francisco waterfront.sfgate/> Harold's family was so prominent that World War II era Liberty Ship was named after one of his family members, Louis Weule.sfgate/> Like most wives of businessman of the period, Irma Mae Weule did not pursue her own career. She later spoke in an interview, "They were not expected to work."

Weule remained a lifelong San Franciscan and reportedly never considered living outside of the city. She gave up driving at the age of 96 and gave her car, a 1981 Cadillac, to her niece, Ruth Hale Roe.sfgate/> Relatives stated that her personal interests included driving cars and riding horses.sfgate/>

Weule was one of just eleven survivors of the 1906 San Francisco eathquake who attended the centennial commemorations on April 18, 2006. She became the oldest living survivor of the catastrophe when the previous holder of the record, Chrissie Mortenstein, died in early 2008.sfgate/> Weule and Mortenstein had been close friends for over 60 years.sfgate/>

Irma Mae Weule died of old age at her home in San Francisco on August 8, 2008. She was 109 years old.
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