Friday, June 23, 2017

Unknown Father - Update

On April 9, 2011, I posted a blog about my birth father, Robert Douglas Evans (click here), having discovered he was deceased.  It was serendipitous that almost exactly one year later on April 28, 2012, I received this message through “Hi, My name is Barb Evans and I am trying to find out if you have any knowledge of the children born to Violet and Robert Evans. The names are Linda Lee and Douglas Jack. I would like to try to contact thru email if possible. Thank you.

Of course, I was the Linda referred to, and my brother was the Douglas. Through a series of emails, we exchanged information and pictures and ultimately met about halfway between Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and St. Louis, Missouri, the following year.

What is interesting is that my half-brother, Robert Douglas “Bob” Evans (named after his father), and his wife, Barb, who contacted me, only discovered in October 2011 that Robert had a previous marriage. They had written to the National Personnel Records Center for copies of Robert’s service record in order to find out about the citations, medals, etc. he had received while in the military. When they received that information, they discovered a wife and two dependents. I can only surmise the surprise, and maybe even shock, they felt—sort of a “now what” moment. Until then, they and the rest of Robert’s siblings had no clue of this “first” marriage.

My birth parents, Violet Vigoren and Robert Evans, probably met in Renton, Washington, where  
they were married. Violet probably came to Washington from Minnesota to work for Boeing during World War II.  Robert was most likely stationed there with the U.S. Navy. 

One wonders why a marriage that produced several children would have been kept quite from Robert’s family; after all, Violet’s family knew as pictures exist of Robert, Violet, my brother, and me at her parents’ home in northern Minnesota. Perhaps it was because of the timing of the marriage. Doing the math, it would seem that Violet was pregnant with me, as I was born a little more than six months after the wedding date.  Robert, it would seem, did the “right thing” by Violet. 

The last several years have been life enhancing. I have a half-brother and half-sister (who I have yet to meet), a sister-in-law, and a nephew and his family:  We have visited with each other, and we have celebrated with each other.  It has been good.

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