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Centralia woman meets English nephew American side of family never new existed

Posted on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Mildred Phillippe Level, left, of Centralia, meets Dave Saunders, 74, of Bristol, England, the nephew she never knew she had.

Mildred Phillippe Level, left, of Centralia, meets Dave Saunders, 74, of Bristol, England, the nephew she never knew she had.

Centralia’s Stuart House was recently the site of a transatlantic reunion, almost three quarters of a century overdue.

A 97-year-old Centralia great-great grandmother, Mildred Phillippe Level recently met a nephew she never knew existed.

A nephew, Dave Saunders, 74, of Bristol, England, who spent 50 years not knowing the United States half of his family tree existed.

It started with a slip of the tongue, across the Atlantic in England.

That was when Saunders, an insulation engineer, was at a family gathering.

“My aunt, she said, it’s a pity your mom and dad didn’t stay together,” he said sitting in Stuart House knee-to-knee with Level. “I didn’t know what to say. A few weeks later I asked one of my other aunts ‘what can you tell me about my real father?’ She looked startled and said, ‘He was an American GI, who told you?’ I said, ‘you just did.’”

For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.