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The Washington Times Friday, November 11, 1988 'Miss Augusta,' 98, heroine to U.S. vets

Augusta Landis Furman, 98, "Miss Augusta" to thousands of American veterans and six presidents, died of respiratory failure Tuesday at Suburban Hospital. Her secretarial and administrative career with veterans agencies spanned more than 30 years. Born in Oxford, N.C., she was the daughter of Civil War Capt. Augustus Landis, who commanded the Granville Grays, and she may have been the last surviving child of a Confederate Civil War officer. A graduate of the Women's College of the University of North Carolina, she moved to Washington in 1918 to work for Bernard Baruch at the old War Industries Board. In 1919, she joined the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, a forerunner of the Veterans Administration. In 1923, she became secretary to the head of the old Veterans Bureau, which became the VA in 1932. During the 1930s, she inspected veterans' facilities and visited Capitol Hill to help press veterans' claims. The American Legion, at its 1938 national convention in Los Angeles, gave a special citation to Miss Augusta, who, it said, "ranks at the top of the class for service to leaders in the nation's service." In 1945, she was elevated to administrative assistant to the head of the VA and held the post until 1951, when she retired as assistant to Gen. Omar Bradley. Two weeks ago, she said she was glad to have lived long enough to see the VA finally represented in the Cabinet. A frequent White House visitor, she knew every president from Woodrow Wilson to Harry Truman. A member of All Soul's Episcopal Church in Washington and a lifelong Democrat, she was an ardent support of animal welfare and anti-visection [anti vivisection] groups. She served as secretary of the 2,000-member Ligon Family and Kinsman Association, a heritage society. Her husband, Hilliard B. Furman, whom she married at age 69, died in February. Services will be held in Oxford Monday, with burial there. It is suggested that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Disabled American Veterans or the American Veterans National Service Center.