By Doris J. (Parker) Blais Bonnell
Westborough – My mother, Carol Idella (McGee) Parker, was born in the town of Westborough on Dec. 15, 1918 to her proud parents: Charles Ernest McGee and Carrie Wiletta (Frelick) McGee; my maternal Grandmother was born in Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia, Canada. The McGee family resided at 62 Milk St., Westborough, across from the “old” Chase Paper Company; which, now, has been vacant for many decades. It was here that my maternal grandmother worked for many years as a weaver running seven looms until the age of 62.
Early in the year of 1918, WWI was still raging in France. During this time, my maternal grandfather Charles Ernest McGee was informed by the government that because his wife, Carrie, was carrying their third child, that he would be exempt from going overseas to France. It was, also, at this time in history, between WWI going on, the world was experiencing a global disaster, which, later, became known as, “the Great Influenza.” During WWI, it is estimated that 16 million people had lost their lives; the influenza pandemic, however, swept the globe killing over 50 to 100 million people. I am so thankful that my mother had survived what was happening at the time of her birth.
On Dec. 15, 2018, my Mother would have celebrated her 100th birthday. On Aug. 28, 2014, she passed away at the Beaumont Nursing Home; she was three months from turning 96 years of age. She always wanted to reach her 100th birthday. In doing our family genealogy, I have learned that through 400 years of history on her French line that she had outlived all her ancestors; ancestresses; forebears/progenitors. She lived a good life in the town of Westborough that she loved so much. So many people remembered her with her apron on and a broom in her hand. For many years, she and my dad, Frank W. Parker, had a bicycle and lawnmower business on 10 Cottage St. They were well-known and well loved. I still miss her; but, I know that she is in a better place with all those she loved and who had gone on before. On Dec. 16, our family gathered to celebrate and honor her memory.