AMELIA ISLAND, Fla .– Wanda Lea (Womack) Gilfillan from Amelia Island, Fla., Passed away suddenly on November 19, 2021 at Baptist Medical Center Nassau in Fernandina Beach. She was born March 2, 1921 in Glenwood, Kentucky, daughter of Ward Dewey Womack and Vanna Marie (Shortridge) Womack. Graduating from Portsmouth, Ohio High School in the class of 1939, she continued her education at the University of Cincinnati School of Nursing. It was there that she met Lewis S. Gilfillan of Bar Harbor, Maine, who had received his DMD from Tufts University and was completing his residency as an oral surgeon. They were married on June 5, 1943.
Upon completion of their residency, the couple moved to Kirkwood, Connecticut, while Dr Gilfillan was associated with public health services. Eventually, they moved to San Francisco where he was stationed with the Coast Guard during World War II, serving aboard troop carriers in the Pacific as an oral surgeon. This is where their son Bill was born. When the war ended, the family returned to Groton, Connecticut, where he was honorably released. A daughter, Carol, was born in Bar Harbor, Maine, their temporary home while Dr Gilfillan established his private practice on Water Street in the state capital, Augusta.
Wanda enjoyed her married life in Augusta. Close friendships were formed with other young families in the Brooklawn Avenue neighborhood. She was known for her culinary skills, her southern hospitality, her ability to sew beautiful, elegant outfits and knit intricate patterns. When needed, she helped Lewis with his practice. Reading books and playing cards were particularly enjoyable leisure activities. She volunteered at her children’s schools, was a PTA leader, volunteered at the local library and at the hospital. She looked forward to family ski trips to Sugarloaf Mountain in the winter and played golf at Augusta Country Club, before being president of the WGA.
As children grew up, a change in the couple’s lifestyle took place in 1969 when they left the city for the countryside. The property chosen was located on Pond Road in Sidney. the shore of Messalonskee lake. They sold part of their land in front of the farm to close friends, Jack and Priscilla Stitt, who built a house there. Working side by side, Lewis and Wanda maintained a large garden and added berry shrubs and fruit trees. Activities included mowing lawns, canning and freezing fruit and vegetables, swimming, boating, maintaining cross-country trails, pressing apples for cider, cutting and l stacking firewood, selecting Christmas trees. Bill, Carol, their spouses and grandchildren looked forward to the visit. Wonderful memories were created in Sidney.
After Lewis retired in his late sixties, he eventually fell ill. Their son and his wife came more frequently and helped them move to town when the couple finally bought a condo in Augusta in the fall of 1996. They enjoyed traveling to distant places with very good friends and settled down. in a relaxed lifestyle. With the help of family on the weekends and attentive neighbors at the resort such as Dick and Pat Kimball, they’ve done pretty well. Lewis passed away in September 2007 and a year later Wanda chose to leave the Maine winters behind and move to Amelia Island, Florida to be close to her daughter, Carol, and son-in-law, Joe.
Wanda enjoyed her new home, a villa in Osprey Village. She “bloomed where she was planted” as the saying goes, appearing at the cafe early in the morning, serving on the Osprey Residents Council, engaging in activities such as card games, craft activities , exercising, reading books on your Kindle, using your computer, and cheering on your favorite sports teams on TV.
The move has allowed Wanda to maintain a close relationship with her daughter who is attentive to her mother’s needs. Wanda was looking forward to Thursday night dinners at Carol, Joe’s and her mother, Eleanore’s. A tradition was established for Saturday nights – Eleanore came to the Osprey Dining Room to eat with Wanda. After relaxing, they talked about their common grandchildren and great-grandchildren while watching classic movies. The holiday visits of grandchildren Jennifer and Eric and their families were eagerly awaited. Planning trips with Carol, Joe and Eleanore was exciting, but hurricane evacuations were not. Looking back over the years, Wanda would most certainly admit that she had led a very fulfilling life.
Wanda was predeceased by her parents; his older sister, Eileen, who died in infancy; her husband, Lewis S. Gilfillan, DMD; his granddaughter, Kathleen Diane Connelly; his brother-in-law, Robert Gilfillan and his wife, Barbara.
She is survived by her son, William L. Gilfillan and his wife, Christine of Hampden, Maine; her daughter, Carol Anne Gilfillan, MD and her husband, Joseph E. Simon, MD of Amelia Island, Florida; her granddaughter Jennifer Simon and her husband, James Shilkett and their sons, Jonah, Charlie and Gil of Atlanta, Georgia; his grandson, Eric Simon and his wife, Christen and their daughter Miriam of Del Rey Oakes, California; three nieces, one nephew and their families from Mt. Desert Island, Maine.
The internment will take place in the spring of 2022 at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Augusta, Maine, where her husband is buried.
Condolences can be expressed to http://www.greenpinefuneral.com/obituary/Wanda-Gilfillan where there will be a link with the story of his life.
Arranged by Green Pine Funeral Home, Yulee, Florida.
If you wish, please donate to the charity of your choice on Wanda’s behalf
instead of flowers.