Metro-East Living

Mother-daughter lookalikes: ‘We have the same smile’

Lela Torrens and daughter Tammy Kiefer, of Lenzburg, share the same shade of red hair.

Elaine Ware, of New Athens, and daughter Ashley Ware, of Hecker, have the same face shape.

Angela Bueltemann and daughter Madison, of Columbia, are alike in their mannerisms and facial expressions.

Whether you look a lot like your daughter or not much at all, we wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day.

Thanks to all the moms and daughters who took the time to send us photos and tell us about what they have in common.

Who they are: Mom Janice Berner, 78, and daughter Tami Henkel Werries, 50

Where they live: Belleville and Fairfax, Va.

What they have in common: “We have the same smile,” said Janice. “We both like to shop till we drop. We are constantly busy and laugh at the same things. We both like helping others. Tami and I both volunteer in local thrift shops and food pantries. Tami is married to Paul Werries and has two children, Alex and Sydnee. Tami graduated from Belleville Township High School in 1983 and graduated from Belleville Area College in 1985 and Strayer University (in Washington, D.C.)”

Who they are: Mom Jeana Wilkerson, 34, and daughter Layla Wilkerson, 6

Where they live: Collinsville

What they have in common: “Jeana and Layla do most everything together, from shopping, birthday parties, family getting together, cooking, jumping on the trampoline or swinging on their swing set,” said friend and neighbor Kathie Hanna. “If it’s a nice day, this family is outside enjoying it (We like that!). They also both enjoy traveling. After a destination wedding to Cancun, Layla got the bug to travel just like Mom. When brother Leo was born 22 months ago, Layla took an active interest in assisting her mom with everything related to the baby, from feeding and cuddling with brother to even changing his diapers. If Mom and daughter had to leave Dad alone with the baby, Layla gave him a list of dos and don’ts for Leo during their absence.”

Who they are: Mom Marynelle Alvarez and daughter Toni Alvarez Green

Where they live: Belleville

What they have in common: “We both play golf together in a ladies league at the Orchards,” said Marynelle. “We like to watch Toni’s kids in their sporting events and love to cook.”

Who they are: Mom Kristin Sternberg, 32, and daughter Charli Sternberg, 2

Where they live: Steeleville

What they like to do together: “We like to read, ride four-wheelers, talk, hunt with Dad, remove ticks from Charli and play with our dogs,” said Kristin. “Everything is together.”

Who they are: Daughter Kay (Wilson) Diekemper and the late Helen (Ihmels) Wilson

Where Kay lives: On a farm near Carlyle

About Mom: “My mother’s been dead for some 20 years, so there are no recent pictures of us together,” said Kay. “But both of us are around 65 in the attached photo. She was born in East St. Louis and graduated from East St. Louis Senior High School and Summer’s College of Commerce in East St. Louis. She died in 1993. I’m on the left. I was born in East St. Louis, graduated from East St. Louis Senior High School and grew up in the same house my mom was born in. We had the same smile and the same laugh and both loved ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ with Cary Grant. She taught me to sew, to cook, have faith in God and that family was more important than anything else. Her no-nonsense manner and work ethic have been embedded in me, and I find my mother’s (words) coming out of my mouth on many occasions.”

She taught me to sew, to cook, have faith in God and that family was more important than anything else.

Kay (Wilson) Diekemper on her mother

Who they are: Mom Jane Nold, 55, and daughters Allyson Nold, 27, and Kirsten Nold, 24

Where they live: “Our hometown is Belleville,” said Jane, “however, we moved to Waterloo in 1996, so the girls grew up in Waterloo.”

What they have in common: “All three of us work in schools. Allyson is a substitute teacher in the Waterloo school district. Jane is a para-professional in the Waterloo school district. Kirsten is a bilingual teacher in Rhodes school district in Chicago. We all like to exercise. Jane and Allyson go to Crossfit together in Columbia. Kirsten and Jane both practice yoga. All three of us along with our son/brother Mike Nold are running in a Spartan Sprint in Chicago in June. We all love to travel. The girls spent 10 months in Madrid, Spain, last year teaching English to Spanish students; and of course the whole family went to see them while they were there. Our blond hair is the first thing that people notice about us.”

Who they are: Mom Lela Torrens and daughter Tammy (Torrens) Kiefer

Where they live: Lenzburg

What they have in common: “The main thing we share is the red hair!” said Tammy. “We also live in walking distance from each other. Not a day goes by that we don’t visit with each other. We also like to shop, and share favorite foods, such as lobster and French onion soup. Along with that, we have a big like for shoes, which has also been passed to my daughter (Leah Lucille, named after my mother Lela and my deceased mother-in-law Lucille). I have been blessed to have such a wonderful mother. Happy Mothers Day, Mom.”

Who they are: Mom Kara Welch, 29, and daughter Natalie Welch, 10

Where they live: Fairview Heights

What they have in common: “Everywhere we go, from the grocery store to the the park, people always comment on how much we look alike,” said Kara. “We even have similar interests in music (They like R&B and dance music.) and TV shows. We both love to watch TLC and crime shows. We enjoy going to baseball games and shopping.”

Who they are: Mom Elaine Ware, 58, and daughter Ashley Ware, 25

Where they live: Elaine is from New Athens; Ashley lives in Hecker

What they have in common: “We have the same face shape and brown eyes and mannerisms, we are told,” said Elaine. “My daughter has grown up to become a wonderful adult. She is a pre-k teacher at Redbud Elementary and loves teaching. I like to volunteer in her classroom or help her make things for her classroom, like sewing eight sets of curtains for bookcases, so the children would pay attention to her and not the toys on the shelves! Sometimes, we show up at family parties dressed in the same colors or same dress; it’s weird. We both love (TV’s) ‘Game of Thrones’ and searching Pinterest.”

Sometimes, we show up at family parties dressed in the same colors or same dress; it’s weird.

Elaine Ware on her daughter

Who they are: Mom Amber Fox, 36, and daughter Ariel Smock, 17

Where they live: Highland

What they have in common: “We enjoy traveling, the beach, animals and we run 5Ks together,” said Amber.

Who they are: Daughter Angelia Kimbrough Butler, 57, and mom Willa Kimbrough, 80

Where they live: East St. Louis

What they have in common: “We enjoy volunteering for our church (Pilgrim Temple CME Church) and community in our hometown of East St. Louis, hosting fun family gatherings and most of all shoe shopping!” said Angelia. “People even say we sound alike on the phone.”

Who they are: Mom Regina Wakefield, 68, and daughter Candace Wakefield-Tita, 42

Where they live: Regina lives in East St. Louis; Candace lives in Jennings, Mo.

What they have in common: “My daughter and I enjoy going to the movies,” said Regina, “listening to music and shopping for my 7-month-old grandson, John Pierre. We enjoy reading books, sharing creative photos she’s taken and, since she’s a new mom, sharing recipes. We attend the same church and live only minutes from each other, so we visit often. This is her first Mother’s Day as a new mom. This picture was taken Mother’s Day last year.”

Who they are: Mom Angela Bueltemann, 44, and daughter, Madison, 17

Where they live: Columbia

What they have in common: “We are very much alike in our mannerisms and facial expressions,” said Angela. “We love the same types of movies, books and crafting. And we both gravitate toward the same style in clothing. … We also love circus peanut candy!”

Who they are: Mom Carrie Wiegard, 44, and daughter Hollie Wiegard, 20

Where they live: Red Bud

What they have in common: “We share our clothes,” said Carrie. “We both love pasta and steak. We like to go camping and shopping and we like going out to dinner together and we love going to Mexico on vacation. We have the same smile, the same eyes and the same mannerisms.”

Who they are: Mom Christine Sims, 42, and Lexie Sims, 15

Where they live: Herrin. Christine grew up in Red Bud.

What they have in common: “Both love to read and read into the night,” said Joan Wiegand, Christine’s mom and Lexie’s grandma, “so that Grandma thinks it takes (some) of their sleeping time. Their favorite food is crusty bread and steak.”

Who they are: Mom Georgia Wyman, 55, and daughter, Kim, 34

Where they live: Freeburg and Belleville

What they have in common: “My mom, Georgia, is my very best friend,” said Kim. “We talk every single day and we talk about everything, big and small. She has always been there to guide me through tough decisions and offer advice. We are similar in so many ways, from mannerisms to personality traits. I am so proud when people tell me I’m like my mom. I wouldn’t want to grow up to be like anyone else. I love you so much, Mom!”

I am so proud when people tell me I’m like my mom.

Kim Wyman

Who they are: Mom Ann (Heileman) Karasek, 61 (1973 grad of Belleville Township High School West) and daughter Ayanna Karasek, 29 (2005 grad of O’Fallon Township High School)

Where they live: Swansea and Orlando, Fla.

What they have in common: “Love and gratitude for Christ Jesus,” said Ann, “being family with Gary Karasek, theatre enthusiasts, respect for beauty and nature, heart for people.”

Who they are: Mom Geri Buske, 74, and daughter Tammy Watts, 54

Where they live: O’Fallon

What they have in common: “We both love to shop, travel, and garden!” said Tammy.

Who they are: Mom Sue Johnson, 73, and daughter Dawn Mushill, 50

Where they live: Sue, originally from Tamaroa, has lived in Granite City more than 60 years. Dawn, originally from Granite City, has lived in Troy more than 15 years.

What they have in common: “Everyone says we look the same and we sound the same and have the same hand motions,” said Dawn. “We both own our own business.” Sue has owned Sue’s Corner for over 15 years, and Dawn has owned Customer Service and Beyond for 15 years and has been the executive director of the Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/Marine Chamber of Commerce for 16 years. “Our graduation pictures are exactly identical, except Dawn’s is in color.

“We both love traveling together on road trips for training, getting together and hanging out with (family) ..., our Annual Christmas Eve shopping day, playing Scrabble (Sue beat Dawn once), and cats (Sue has two and Dawn has one).

“My mom is the most caring person you will ever meet. You can ask everyone she has ever met and if you don’t believe me, stop by Sue’s Corner when she is working. The place is always packed and when people leave, they all want a hug from Sue. The younger generation comes in for advice, a friendly smile and, of course, excellent customer service from Sue.”

Who they are: Mom Jenny Surmeier, 53, and daughter Hilary Surmeier, 22

Where they live: Belleville

What they have in common: “What we mutually agree on, above all else, is wine, working out, and my dog (her granddog) Bella,” said Hilary. “We share our love of Mariachis’ food and margaritas every Wednesday night, and get that we sound just alike. Some people assume I’m the mom because of my height, but we mostly get told we look like sisters, but I’m not complaining. Love you, Madre!”

Who they are: Mom Lori Martin, 45, and daughter Morgan Hankammer, 13

Where they live: Belleville

What they have in common: “We both like going to the movies, reading books together and playing with our pets,” said Lori. “Morgan likes books about animals, the outdoors and angry birds. We have four dogs, Greta, Patches, Pugsley and Baxter.”

Who they are: Mom Angie Cronin, 38, and daughter Chloe Shemwell, 14

Where they live: Belleville

What they have in common: “We love shopping and baking together!” said Angie. “We both are HUGE Cardinals fans. We have really enjoyed updating our house, too.”

Who they are: Mom Donna Kisgen, 38, and daughter Kylie Kisgen, 11

Where they live: Freeburg

What they have in common: “I like all things athletic. Love to read,” said Donna, a trainer at Gold’s Gym. “Kylie likes all things athletic. She plays soccer, basketball and volleyball in grade school. She is the spitting image of her mom in grade school.”

She is the spitting image of her mom in grade school.

Donna Kisgen on her daughter

Who they are: Mom Lori Libby and daughter Patty Libby

Where they live: Belleville (though Patty just moved to Mascoutah)

What they have in common: “Our biggest similarity is that we both love what we do, and since we work in the same Emergency Room, we get to do it together,” said Lori, a registered nurse for more than 20 years who is the current ER educator at St Elizabeth’s Belleville. “Patty works as an EMT in the ER and is starting nursing school in the fall. We love getting to see each other at work and share stories about our day over salads at lunch. It’s never been hard working with each other professionally. If anything, it’s only brought us closer.”

Who they are: Jackie Johnston, 54, and Hayley Johnston, 22, a grad student at Washington University in St. Louis

Where they live: Swansea

What they have in common: “We both like to read,” said Jackie. “We like animals. We are actually considering rescuing a dog right now. Ours had passed away. We like to shop. We spend time together. We like to go to wineries with family and friends. People tell us we look alike. I always thought she looked more like my husband’s side of the family.”

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