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Last female World War I veteran dies

Published March 29, 2007


BOONSBORO, Md. - The last surviving female World War I veteran, a refined Civil War buff who met with the Secretary of the Navy to fight for women in the military, has died. She was 109.

Charlotte Winters died Tuesday (March 27, 2007) at a nursing home near Boonsboro in northwest Maryland, the U.S. Naval District in Washington said in a statement.

In 1916, Mrs. Winters met with Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels to persuade him to allow women in the service, said Kelly Auber, who grew up on South Mountain, where Mrs. Winters and her husband, John Winters, settled.

When the Navy opened support roles to women, Mrs. Winters and her sister, Sophie, joined immediately in 1917, Auber said.

Mrs. Winters served as a secretary and retired in 1953 with the rank of yeoman in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

Friends said she was proud of her role but didn't like to be fussed over as she grew older and there were fewer and fewer WWI veterans alive.

Auber said Mrs. Winters was "an absolutely refined lady" who was fond of traveling the country with her husband to find burial spots of fallen Civil War generals.

[Last modified March 29, 2007, 01:43:20]

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