Half-Sisters, 94 And 85, Meet For First Time

Monday, May 26th 2014, 6:27 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Many, on Memorial Day, are reminded of family they've lost, but for two ladies, Monday was about family they've just found.

After 85 years there wasn't much Zelda Gates thought she hadn't seen; except for one thing, the half-sister that, for a long time, she didn't even know she had.

She found out when the family read her father's will.

"It was a shock. My brothers and I looked at each other," Gates said.

Reta Knight, 94 years old, is that half-sister, and the two finally met for the very first time. Knight was born nine years before her sister, and in that gap, her father left and she never knew him.

With the meeting, she's getting the chance to see the other side of his family, and, for the first time, learn something about her father.

"I just wondered what he was like and wondered how come he never tried to find mother or mother try to find him," Knight said. "I don't know what the connection was, or what happened between them. I often wondered but I didn't know, and when I asked mother she was rather evasive, so I didn't push it."

The younger members of the family started with some old pictures and genealogy resources online and finally made the connection just a couple of months ago.

Now the two are catching up on quite a bit.

"I think it's wonderful, and we look so much alike, it's unbelievable," Gates said.

"No I didn't say she looked like me, I just said she looked good, and I mean that," Knight said with a laugh.

After a lifetime apart the sisters finally have a family picture, together.

The two sisters will still have some distance, one lives in Jenks, the other in Kansas City, but they hope to visit more and fill in the gaps of information about their father and their family.