Rose Cliver: Community to Remember Oldest 1906 Earthquake Survivor, Who Died Sunday

Categories: Local News
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Rose Cliver lived a long life
We were sad to read the news that Rose Cliver, one of five oldest survivors of the 1906 earthquake, died yesterday at her home. She was 109 -- and lived a good life.

But the San Francisco community is taking today to toast Cliver and her very, very long life. At noon, community members will gather at John's Grill, located at 63 Ellis Street, for a lunch honoring Cliver's memory. This year's April 18 earthquake breakfast will also be dedicated in her honor.

"She was really a pistol," said Lee Houskeeper, a publicist for John's Grill.

Cliver was born in San Francisco in 1902 and lived there until a few years ago when she moved to Novato to be closer to her son, Don. She was almost four years old when she stood at the top of Bernal Hill and watched the city burn after the 1906 earthquake.

She was one of the only earthquake survivors to have a real memory of that day, because the others were younger than Cliver, Houskeeper said. "There is a quality to the [Quake survivors] ... they got rudely knocked out of the beds at 5 a.m. and watched the city burn, then they came back and built it out of ashes. So they have a sense of humor that's really wicked."

That wicked sense of humor would come alive when Cliver and other quake survivors would gather at the annual earthquake breakfast event held in the city every year where they loved to have cocktails together, Houskeeper told us.

"I thought when I hit 100, that was great. The end of the world!" Cliver told the Press Democrat in 2011. "Now I'm still here, waiting for the world to end."

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