What were the dates of birth and death on Winnie's tombstone in Tuck Everlasting?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Winnie's tombstone does not give the exact dates of her birth and death. Only the years of those two events are listed.

The dates on Winnie's tombstone read 1870-1948, meaning that she was born sometime during the year 1870, and died sometime during the year 1948. She would have been about 78 years old at the time of her death. In addition to these dates, the tombstone lists Winnie's full name, Winifred Foster Jackson, and indicates that she was both a wife and a mother. These bits of information testify that Winnie lived a full life, and survived to a comparatively ripe old age.

Ma and Pa Tuck return to Treegap two years after Winnie's death. Everything has changed during the time they have been away; the main road is paved, and there is a gas station and many other small businesses now in the formerly isolated and rural town. Most importantly, the magic spring is no longer there, the land having been bulldozed after a severe electrical storm destroyed a big tree and caused a tremendous fire. Because of all the changes, the Tucks' return is bittersweet, as is Pa's reaction when they discover Winnie's tombstone. The fact that Winnie is dead is significant because it means that she chose not to use the magic water which would have enabled her to live forever. Instead, she lived her life the natural way, the way it was meant to be lived, and for that brave decision, Pa Tuck salutes her (Epilogue).