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Super Senior: Lillian King

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 6:10 PM EDT
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ESSEX, Vt. (WCAX) - Ninety-six-year-old Lillian King is the type of person who speaks her mind.

Lillian King: What are you doing there?

Reporter Joe Carroll: I’m going to talk to you. What do you think I’m here for?

Lillian King: I don’t know what you’re here for.

I’m about to get into a verbal joust with this sassy Super Senior.

Lillian King: Seeing myself on the television, I’ll have a heart attack for sure.

Reporter Joe Carroll: You won’t have a heart attack.

Lillian King: You never know.

What is known can be told in her home in Essex, with a table full of memories. King grew up on a farm just outside of Plattsburgh. Her mother died when she was just three, so her Aunt Gert raised her.

She met Fred at a square dance. After the music, they walked down the aisle. King was only 15 when she married and moved to Vermont. Later, they started Wilfred King Paving.

Fred has since passed away and their son Dan now does the paving, but King still has a voice in the business. For over 50 years she has taken calls at her home. The fall brings a big demand for paving before the snow arrives. “Everybody and their neighbor wants to get their driveway done,” she said.

Keeping King company every day is her daughter-in-law, Tammy King. “We told her one time that we could have somebody else answer the phone, but she wouldn’t let us give it up,” Tammy said.

“They like talking to me, the customers do,” added King.

King still has her farm girl ways, getting up before the crack of dawn and making her own meals. On this day, it’s lunch with Lillian -- corn chowder and a kitchen counter conversation. Between slurps, there’s advice on how to milk a cow. “You got to squeeze the top first, then pull,” King advised. “Otherwise, you can’t no milk.”

And comments on my looks...

A life of expressing her opinions, like her soup -- hearty and fulfilling. “That will put hair on your chest,” King said.

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