Claire Weimmer (back row, second from right) has left her family, friends and "Tribe" way too soon.

“Only the Good Die Young” is the title of a popular Billy Joel song from 44 years ago but it’s certainly been used way too many times before and since when talking about someone whose life has ended way too soon.  My question is, “What is too soon?”

From 1860 to now life expectancy in the U.S. has doubled from 39.4 to 78.9 years.  While the pace has slowed the Social Security Administration and Census Bureau both forecast that number to continue to grow and by 2050 life expectancy will be almost 81 for males and about 85 for females…I won’t make any editorial comments about why women outlive us men.

So let me go back to my original question and that is “what too soon for someone to die?”  I guess if you’re a numbers person you could say anything under the average but I don’t think it’s that easy. And to be honest going back to the title to the song it’s just as much about a good person then it is a young person…maybe even more.

Claire Weimmer was 69 years old when cancer took her life Tuesday this week.  An adored wife, mother and grandmother she was beloved by the many students who were lucky enough to have her for an English teacher at Manchester Township High School and Ocean County College.  She was also one of my wife’s dearest friends and their group known as “The Tribe” would regularly get together to solve the problems of the world over dinner and wine…the later was the most important part.

In Claire’s case 69 was way too young because she was truly one of the very good ones.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.