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Laura L. Gillett



Laura L. Gillett was a devoted mother, who could be seen playing outside with her two young boys almost every day, said a neighbor yesterday. Thursday afternoon just hours before the nightclub fire that took her life, she was making the most of the recent snow, said Frances Alger, who lived next door all of Gillett's life. "She was building a ramp for her boys to sled on," said Alger. "They were squealing and having fun." It was a family tradition to take advantage of the slope between the two houses, piling on more snow to get "a little coast," said Alger, and Gillett, had enjoyed the same spot when she was a little girl.

Gillett, 32, who was divorced, lived with her parents and her two sons Jake, 6, and Jared, 3, in Pembroke.

"God love her, she was sweet," said Alger. "They were laughing so much that day in the snow -- those boys lost a wonderful mother."

On sunny days, she said, Gillett would be out in the yard with her sons, pushing them in their swings or playing with them in their swimming pool. Gillett worked evenings at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Rockland and had days free to spend with her boys.

A 1988 graduate of Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston, she volunteered to help build the first wooden playground for the students at Hobomock Elementary School.

Johnathan Dowling knew Gillett through her boyfriend, Shawn Sweet, who also died in the fire.

"You'd go by her house and see her throwing the football around with the kids," Dowling said. "She loved her kids."