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Sons, wedding dolls and animals
NORWAY – When Wanda Kilgore is not working, mowing her large lawns or tending her animals she finds time to create lots of craft items, make a quilt or knit something special. She still manages to find time to attend her son’s sporting events or high school activities.
Q: Where were you born and where were you brought up?
A: I was born in Farmington, Maine. My family moved to Connecticut in the early '60s. I moved back to Maine in 1978.
Q: Do you have many siblings?
A: Yes, I have three sisters and two brothers.
Q: What did your parents do?
A: My father was a truck driver. He worked for Interstate Motor Freight in West Haven, Connecticut. My mother was able to stay home until I was a teen and then she worked part-time.
Q: Was there anything that you wanted to be when you grew up?
A: A hair stylist. Then I kind of doubted myself when I cut all the hair off my doll’s head and it never grew back.
Q: Where did you go to school?
A: I went to school in Connecticut; Momauguin Elementary, East Haven Junior High and East Haven High School. My graduating class was over 500 students.
Q: What have you had for jobs?
A: My first job was at Burger King. I made a big $2.77 an hour. Then I moved back to Maine and worked for Cornwall Industries for 15 years. I loved woodworking.
After that I worked at the South Paris Veterans Home. The residents were wonderful and always had a story to share. I worked evenings so I always had a little extra time to hear them. I’ve worked at the Lake Store in Norway off and on for about 20 years. My present full-time job is as a Customer Service Representative for Dead River Company.
Q: Do you collect anything or have a hobby?
A: I collect wedding dolls. I prefer the Ashton Drake dolls; it’s all about the facial features, especially the eyes. I love doing crafts and quilting. My grandmother actually taught me how to knit and my mom taught me how to sew. I love to be creative.
Q: Do you have any children?
A: I am the proud mother of two sons. My oldest son, Corey was born in 1983. He always said he was going to join the army when he grew up. He breezed through school with good grades and graduated in 2001. He joined the army following graduation.
Corey’s second family became the 101stAir Borne and his first day of basic training was September 11, 2001. He did a tour of duty in Iraq and on the day he was shipped out for his second deployment to Iraq on December 1, 2005 his son Austin was born. Corey was killed in Iraq on March 13, 2006. He always had a smile and a hello for everyone. I miss him deeply.
My second son, Tristan was born in 1996. He is my baseball, football and lacrosse player. Also a music lover and video game player. He is a junior at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School and his future includes auto mechanic college.
Tristan has great respect for his brother and says Corey is his hero. He wants to be the one to tell Austin stories about his dad.
Q: What scares you the most?
A: Not being able to do things myself when I’m older. I am a very independent person.
Q: Any heroes?
A: My boys are my heroes and my grandson, Austin is Corey’s little legacy.
A: Gold Star Mothers
Q: What is the one thing you would not give up?
A: My love for animals. I have cats, a dog, a rabbit and a horse.
Q: What is the one thing you would happily do over again?
A: Raise my sons. I have had a lot of fun with them and it keeps me thinking young.
Q: What is the best memory this interview brought back?
A: The family BBQ we had when Corey was home on leave. Family, friends, food and fun!
Q: If anyone could walk in right now, whom would you most like to see?
A: I would love to see Corey.