Four siblings separated for 50 years meet in St. Clair Co. due to Facebook

EAST CHINA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - Four siblings who lived separate lives in different parts of the country for more than fifty years are now together for the very first time.

Lisa Hulber invited 7 Action News out to her home so our cameras could capture the moments they were united. 

They have different moms, but the same dad. 

Jim West had five wives in his life and children with four of them. When he moved on to a new relationship he left his children behind, but he never forgot.  He raised his youngest daughter Debby. 

“Dad passed. Part of the healing for me was going through all his things,” said Debby Derflinger. “I found pictures and letters. He never let go of his kids.” 

Debby did something her dad didn’t allow her to do during his life. She started searching.  She found them on Facebook. 

“I ended up getting a request on Facebook for friendship. I asked my husband who is this. He said you ought to call her. She looks just like you,” said Lisa Hulber. 

On September 28, their dad’s birthday, Lisa invited her siblings to come from around the country to her house in China Township Michigan. 

Jeff West, Debby Derflinger and Lynn Farrel came from around the country for the union. The time together is about getting to know each other - and forgiving their father.

“I remember him, but I was like 3 when he moved on,” said Jeff. 

Lynn struggled with whether she could emotionally handle seeing half siblings with the same father - a father she never knew.  She saw pictures he had - and finally knew while he was not there, he cared. 

“He loved his children,” she said to her sister Debby.

“He would have been so proud,” said Debby.  “It is hard. Today is his birthday. He would have been 87. When he was on his death bed he shared regrets with me. His biggest regret was not knowing his children.”

Print this article Back to Top