Menu
Home

U.S.

3 sisters reunite in New York after 73-year separation

sisters_reunited_ny.jpg

In this Sept. 10, 2013 photo, three sisters, from left, Shirley Mortellaro, 78, Mary Kidwell, 77, and Joan Billings, 80 are reunited in Batavia, N.Y., 73 years after their mother abandoned the older two in Toronto and disappeared with Mary.AP/The Daily News

Three sisters have been reunited in western New York some 73 years after their mother abandoned the older two and disappeared with the youngest sister.

The Daily News of Batavia reported Saturday that the sisters — 80-year-old Joan Billings, 78-year-old Shirley Mortellaro and 77-year-old Mary Kidwell — were reunited this month after decades of searching for each other.

The sisters' story begins in 1940 in Toronto, where their father was in the Canadian Air Force.

The sisters told the newspaper that when their father was away, their mother would put them in the bedroom and tell them to stay there while she went partying.

One day, the sisters said, they caught their mother with a boyfriend and told their father. A fight ensued and the mother packed quickly and left with her youngest daughter.

The two older sisters settled in western New York — Billings in Albion and Mortellaro in  — Pembroke while Kidwell ended up in Columbus, Ohio.

Billings and Mortellaro both married, Billings twice. Billings has six surviving children, having lost a daughter at age 33. Mortellaro and her husband Tony have three daughters; Kidwell, who is widowed, has four children.

The two older sisters spent years looking for Mary, and she looked for them as well.

That search ended about three weeks ago when Mortellaro got a call from her grandson's girlfriend's mother in Florida, who had taken up the search.

The woman had connected online with a friend of Kidwell's who was also helping with the search

"She said, 'I've found her,'" Mortellaro said.

Kidwell arrived in Batavia by bus on Sept. 10. The sisters had no trouble recognizing each other.

"We've lost a lot of years and we can't get them back," Kidwell said, as she sat in with her sisters in Mortellaro's living room. "We've got a lot of catching up to do."

Bank Rates

Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
30 Y Fixed Graph 4.28% -- 4.28%  
15 Y Fixed Graph 3.26% up 3.17%  
30 Y Fixed Jumbo Graph 4.53% dw 4.55%  
5/1 ARM Graph 3.43% dw 3.51%  
5/1 Jumbo ARM Graph 3.56% dw 3.57%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
$30K HELOC Graph 4.36% up 4.34%  
$50K HELOC Graph 4.06% -- 4.06%  
$30K Loan Graph 5.07% up 5.04%  
$50K Loan Graph 4.51% up 4.50%  
$75K Loan Graph 4.51% up 4.50%  
Loan Type Graph Rate +/- Last Week
36 M New Graph 2.92% -- 2.92%  
36 M Used Graph 3.46% up 3.43%  
48 M New Graph 3.21% up 3.18%  
48 M Used Graph 2.98% up 2.92%  
60 M New Graph 3.23% up 3.18%  
Loan Type Graph Yield +/- Last Week
6 month Graph 0.35% up 0.34%  
1 yr Graph 0.66% -- 0.66%  
5 yr Graph 1.35% up 1.34%