Remembering 'The Greatest Mom in the World' Wanda Zoeller, the youngest of six children, was so poor growing up that her family had to keep borrowing a light bulb from one room to light another. Zoeller says her mother, who was the most important person in her life, made sure they didn't feel poor.

Remembering 'The Greatest Mom in the World'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


The StoryCorps project is recording everyday Americans telling the stories that have shaped their lives. Two people who know each other well go into a recording booth and interview each other. This is happening across the country and on this Friday before Mother's Day our story comes from Louisville, Kentucky. That's where Wanda Zoeller grew up. She was the youngest of six children. She came to StoryCorps with her partner, Susan Herndon.

SUSAN HERNDON: Who would you say is the most important person in your life?

WANDA ZOELLER: And when Mom died the whole family was with her. I was laying in the bed next to her, holding her, and telling her it was okay to let go because I knew it would probably going to be hard for her to let go of us. So we had to make sure she knew we were going to be okay. And the very last thing she said to us was that she loved us. And she was a huge influence in my life.


MONTAGNE: Wanda Zoeller with her partner, Susan Herndon, in Louisville, Kentucky. Wanda's mother, Ethel Zoeller, died five years ago. This conversation will be archived along with all StoryCorps interviews at the American Folk Life Center at the Library of Congress. And you can subscribe to the podcast at

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.