Kathleen Boswell

Katy Depot
About the Speaker

Kathleen Boswell loves to make a role her own. After dozens of portrayals of the aunt of Whiteman Air Force Base namesake George Whiteman, she began tackling the story of her favorite author, Laura Ingall Wilder. Even her husband doesn't recognize her in costume and friends have remarked, "After two minutes, we forgot it was you and were along for the ride."

Sincerely Yours, Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura Ingalls Wilder spent over sixty years of her life in Missouri, writing her famous Little House on the Prairie series while living on Rocky Ridge Farm outside of Mansfield. Wilder was proud of her farm, which sustained her family through the loss of their life savings during the Great Depression. Her early articles in farm publications provide insight into her life and the struggle made bearable because of her childhood experiences. Wilder had a deep faith that guided her through hard times.

Boswell's presentation explores why Wilder wrote her famous series and her life after the last volume. It's a story of "making do," as Wilder did, pulling herself up through hard work. Set in 1947, when Wilder was 80 and her husband Almanzo Wilder was still alive, it is an inspiring story for young and old alike.

George's Aunt Mildred

A compelling account of a life lost too soon, the story of Army Air Corps Second Lieutenant George Whiteman is told from the perspective of his Aunt Mildred.

A native of Sedalia, Whiteman graduated high school at 15 and started college in Rolla before joining the Army Air Corps in 1940. As part of the Air Corps, Whiteman achieved his lifelong dream of learning to fly. Whiteman was stationed at Hickam Base in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, when the plane he was piloting was shot down by Japanese gunfire. Whiteman is considered to be the first American pilot killed in World War II. His mother's comment to a local newspaper, "It can happen anywhere, anytime," has been adopted as the motto of the 340th bomber wing based at Whiteman Air Force Base, named for George Whiteman.