Big Island man connects with biological family after 63 years - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Big Island man connects with biological family after 63 years

Robert Beck Robert Beck
Vera Ward Vera Ward
Wanda Pasco-Gionson Wanda Pasco-Gionson

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

HILO, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - We often joke that Hawaii is so small, chances are there's someone you're related to and don't even know it. It turned out to be true for a Big Island man named Robert Beck.

The story of the 65 year old isn't that unusual. He grew up in Kau, played football for his high school, enlisted in the military, got married and raised a family, but his whole life, he lived with a mystery he could never solve.

"When I was the age of nine or ten I was told that I was an adopted boy," explained Beck. "I was born with the name of Lester Pasco and I was given up for adoption and then when my adopted parents adopted me, they changed my named to Robert Beck."

Too busy taking care of his own family, Robert had no interest seeking out the ones he never knew but his daughter Vera saw the effect "not knowing" had on her father.

"He was very angry being put up for adoption and when I was growing up, just seeing his anger for many years, something inside me just said you know go find the family," said Vera Ward.

Vera searched for "Lucy Pasco", the name on her father's his birth certificate listed as his biological mother. She never gave up searching for a year and a half.

"I could never find the right Lucy Pasco until one night just out of the blue her obituary popped up and then I realized I had found something here," said Ward.

It was a phone number that put her in touch with her father's sister "Wanda".

"She said, I think my dad is your brother. I felt it right here in my heart that it was true," said Wanda Pasco-Gionson.

Just to be sure, Wanda and Robert took a DNA test.

"We did it. It came back 98.6 percent. We share the same mother," said Pasco-Gionson.

"I was in, I was in shock. What?!" said Beck.

Beck was in for an even bigger surprise when he found out he came from a big family of two sisters and three brothers.

His siblings met Beck for the first time at a reunion in Hilo.

"Everything is coming together," said Beck's brother Rudy Gabonia. "Today we, we reunited the family."

"God, we're in our 50's and 60's. It's about time," said Glenn Gabonia.

"That's my blood line family," said Beck in tears. "That's my blood line family and it's like the missing piece of the puzzle is finally in place."

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