photo of Paris Wilder

    - Paris Allison Wilder -
    June 18,1918 - July 18,1970

            My dad was a handsome man , about 6' tall , slim built , The bluest eyes you have ever seen , and black hair.He liked , fishing , hunting, and growing roses. He had a green thumb and could grow anything. He took great pride in his rose garden. Dad was a very unique man, there are not enough words to describe him. Anyone that knew him and reads this will know what I mean. I have had a hard time putting this together because of this, but here goes.....

            Dad was born June,18,1918, In Davisburgh , Harrison County, Kentucky. The doctor that delivered him was named Dr. B. G. Allison , which is significant because that is where he and I got our middle names. He was raised in Middlesboro,Bell County, Kentucky. His father,Garfield Wilder (Gar) , a coal miner and his mother Mary Webb Wilder , a Housewife and according to his birth certicate says their were six other children but I only know of four. Three brothers,Arthur,born about 1912 and died the 11th of December,1956,at the age of 44 of cancer. (he was the only brother of dad's I met) I was 10 years old. Raligh , born about the year 1917 who died the 12th of August,1937 at the age of 20. I believe this is the brother that was murdered. Dad was 19 at the time.There was a Nelson Wilder but have not found any dates at all on him. Then there was 1 sister, Vestia Wilder Lovell, she died about 1981.She had a daughter that was killed at the same time as dad's brother Raligh, at about 9 or 10 years old. Dad was the baby of the family. I am going into this as it explains a lot about my dad and what his life was like to make him the man he was. His father died the 2nd of July, 1919 at the age of 28, which made dad about a year old. His mother, Mary Webb Wilder, a housewife died about 1955. This is all I know about his growing-up years ,but from all I have heard and know his life was rough .I think my dad's childhood years affected him severely . If you have ever heard the saying , " You can take the boy out of the mountains , but you can't take the mountain out of the boy" , This was very true of my dad . Back years ago in Harlan , Bell and other mountain counties ,they were known for the rough and wild lifestyle. This is the only way I know to describe my dad .

            Then at the age of 22 , on the 27th day of February , 1942 my dad enlisted in the Army. It was wartime and he was a ambulance driver in the service . He served 2 years , 8 months and 15 days . He was in an accident in the ambulance and broke his back, he also suffered from Colera and his condition was listed as poor. He was discharged the 11th day of November,1944.
            After leaving the service , he decides to go to Ludlow, Kentucky to stay with his brother Arthur and his family. He got a job with the company his brother worked for ,Rural Doxel Gas Company as a truck driver.

            This is where my mom comes in. She lived in near-by Bromley,Kentucky. She was just recently divorced and so was he.They met and married the 19th day of January, 1946. I was born the 27th day of November,1946.They lived in Bromley for several years and dad went to school to be a welder. They then moved to Florence, Kentucky and lived there 5 years and then moved to Burlington , Kentucky. They lived in Burlington until I married and left home in 1962 . They moved the last time to 11 Plymouth Lane in Elsemere , Kentucky.

            I had 3 children at the time of his death . Holly, age 6 when he died , Brenda , age 5 when he died , Toni , age 2 when he died . I was pregnant with my last one Parisanne Elizabeth when he died. This is where she got her name. I added the Elizabeth for the middle name as this was my mother's middle name ,so I had one named after both my parents. Naming Parisanne after dad meant a lot to my mother . I regret that he never got to see her.He loved his grandkids so much , he would babysit while mom and I would go shopping.

            He worked for Joseph Honhorst Company in Cincinnati when he died. He was on vacation and had decided to go visit his sister in Middlesboro , Kentucky. He left that evening and he never came back . He was killed the 18th day of July on Jelico mountain , Tennessee. We believe that he had missed his exit and was coming back down the mountain and fell asleep at the wheel. He did not have a seat belt on and was thrown from the car and the car landed on top of him and crushed his chest . He lived several hours but we did not get the news until he was already gone . I really wish I could have been there to be with him , but it was not meant to be. There was a wonderful nurse there that sat with him until he passed away . She wrote me a letter to let me know that he did not suffer and that he prayed with her before he died . I appreciated that letter and the fact that she stayed by his side as she knew we could not be there and did not want him to be alone .

            He was a great father to me and husband to my mother. He was taken from us way too soon .... he was only 53 years old when he died . I miss him very much.
            This lets you know about the person he was and a little about his life. In doing this , I thought about just a nice poem or something but .... I wanted people to kinda look at him and know what his life was like.It has helped me doing it....

              ~I love you, dad~