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North Castle Daily News

Mildred Wago, Dedicated Mother and North Castle Receiver of Taxes, Dies at 95

Mildred H. Wago died peacefully on August 25, 2013 at her home on Wago Avenue in Armonk, surrounded by her family. The former North Castle Receiver of Taxes, beloved wife and mother was 95 years old.

Mildred Wago was born on August 16, 1918 in the Bronx to Gunhild Olsen Hogan and Andrew J. Hogan.

She moved to White Plains when she was 10 years old and was graduated from White Plains High School in 1936. Upon graduation, Mildred, affectionately known as Millie, went to IBM Business School in White Plains.

Mildred received her business degree and was hired by the Metropolitan Insurance Company in New York City, commuting from White Plains. She worked for Met Life for the next 13 years, including after her marriage to Charles Wago.

The caretaker of Agnew Farm (now IBM headquarters in Armonk), John Coupe and his wife Roberta (Coupie and Aunt Bertie) introduced Mildred to Charlie Wago. He was a life-long resident of Armonk, having been born in his parents home on Whippoorwill Road. On November 24, 1949, Mildred and Charlie were married and they settled in Armonk on Old Mount Kisco Road. They had two daughters, Linda and Charlene, both of whom live in North Castle. The Wago daughters grew up in a historical home that was a gas station on Route 128 that is now the Wine Geeks. The Wagos were dear friends with Mary and Buddy Schultz, the first generation of Schultz's Cider Mill; Millie was Mary's maid of honor at their marriage.

Charlie's parents, who were from Hungary, moved to what-is-now Armonk's Wago Avenue when it was a large farm; it was eventually subdivided into a residential neighborhood. Charlie's father, Charlie and his brother, Joe, built the road now called Wago Avenue. Elizabeth Place that was named after Charlie's mother.

Mildred's mother, Gunhild Olsen, was from Norway; she married Andrew Hogan, a caretaker of a small estate, which is now an apartment building on Old Mamaroneck Road, in White Plains. Mildred's daughters, Linda and Charlene, said that as young girls, they heard tales of how their grandfather would on occasion have a couple of beers with New York Yankee Babe Ruth and the couple would have the pro golfer Ben Hogan (no relation) over for dinner.  

In 1960, Mildred Wago began her outstanding career in North Castle's tax office, when she was appointed to work there part-time and the following year was named Deputy Receiver of Taxes. A staunch Republican her entire life, she was elected Receiver of Taxes in 1970 and subsequently re-elected seven times to become the longest actively serving Receiver of Taxes in Westchester County. She served during a period of development as the tax rolls grew to over 5,000 properties. She modernized the tax office, introducing computer technology in 1991. Mildred received a proclamation from the North Castle Town Board for her services to North Castle after her retirement after 41 years of dedicated service on December 31, 2001.

Mrs. Wago also served as regional vice president of the Westchester County Receiver of Taxes and later was president of that group. She was inducted into 1993-94 Who's Who of American Global Leadership of Outstanding Achievement. In addition, she served her community as member, finance chairman and president of the North Castle American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1097 where she served as chairlady for many years of the Empire State Girls Leadership Program that honored outstanding Byram Hills High School girls. Mildred continued to earn the admiration and respect of all who know her as a life member of the North Castle Historical Society and numerous children's programs in Armonk. In recognition of her community service, the City of White Plains, under the office of Mayor Joseph Delfino, proclaimed April 5, 2002 as Mildred H. Wago Day. In 2008, Mildred was awarded the Pat Bresha award from The Armonk Lions Club for distinguished community service.

Mildred Wago died gracefully and peacefully, always smiling, says her daughter Charlene. "Even when the grandkids came, she was always blowing kisses, putting her arms up, hugging us, saying I love you." She was a very strong and determined woman who did not want to give in. Three weeks ago when she asked her daughter Linda how much longer she had to live, Linda said, "I don't know, Mom, only God knows. He only knows how much longer I have to live too."

Mildred was predeceased by her loving husband, Charles L. Wago, and her sister, Gladys Evans who lived to be 96 years old. Mildred was a loving and devoted mother to her two daughters, Linda and husband, Richard Herbst, and Charlene and husband, William Decker. She was a loving grandmother to Kim Leary, Tiffany and Christie Herbst, and Billy, Samantha, and Kevin Decker. Mildred also was the proud great-grandmother to Matt and Jack Leary. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews as well as many devoted friends.

The Wago daughters plan to celebrate their mother's life and invite friends to call at the Oekler-Cox and Sinatra Funeral Home, 262 Main Street, Mt. Kisco, NY on Tuesday, September 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the Armonk United Methodist Church on Bedford Road in Armonk, NY, next to North Castle Town Hall, on Wednesday, September 4, at 11 a.m. Interment at Middle Patent Cemetery will immediately follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Hospice of Westchester and Putnam, 540 White Plains Road, Suite 300, Tarrytown, NY 10591.