In No. 1, March term, 1951:
Paul M. Showalter, Showalter & Showalter, Lewisburg, for appellants.
Charles Wolfe Kalp, Lewisburg, for appellee.
In No. 2, March term, 1951:
Merrill W. Linn, Lewisburg, J. Weinman Cratty, Pittsburgh, Miller A. Johnson, Lewisburg, for appellant.
Paul M. Showalter, Showalter & Showalter, Lewisburg, for appellee.
Before Rhodes, P. J., and Hirt, Reno, Dithrich, Ross and Arnold, JJ.
Decedent, Anna S. Rossman, at the time of her death was living in a rented room in the home of Eva Herring in Williamsport. In the early morning of August 1, 1947, she was found unconscious on the bathroom floor of the Herring home. She was removed to a hospital where she died about seven hours later without regaining consciousness. In a holographic will dated March 6, 1946, she, after making a number of specific bequests, disposed of her residuary estate, amounting to something over $10,000 thus: 'I give, devise and bequeath to those who are kind to me in my last illness and care for me all I have left without tax'. This residuary clause, in paragraph 11 of the will, gives rise to the
controversies in this estate. The auditor appointed by the court awarded the residuary estate in five equal shares to persons who in his judgment qualified by meeting the description of the above provision of the will; the lower court dismissed exceptions to the auditor's report and ordered distribution in accordance therewith. Two appeals before us will be disposed of in this opinion. In one of them Albert B. Hall and Minnie R. Hall, his wife, who together were awarded one share under paragraph 11, contend that they qualify as sole beneficiaries of the entire residuary estate to the exclusion of the other persons who would participate under the court's order. In the second appeal by Ralph E. Dinges it is contended that the testamentary disposition of the residuary estate has failed for want of qualification by any beneficiary, under its terms. Accordingly, Ralph E. Dinges, for himself and his sister Mary Dinges Smith, claims the residuary estate under the intestate law; they are the sole heirs at law of decedent.
Anna S. Rossman was 80 years old when she died. There is little dispute as to her physical condition prior to her death and no difference of opinion as to the cause of death. She died from cerebral hemorrhage. Dr. J. S. Purnell, her family physician, testified that she had a condition designated by him as 'hypertension arteriole' which had grown progressively worse during the last five or six years of her life. He testified: 'I don't know what disease caused her death, but I can say that cerebral hemorrhage is a phase of hypertension arteriole disease'. Dr. Stuart Gibson, who attended her when stricken, testified that from a prior examination he knew that she had hypertensive arteriosclerosis and that the ...