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Siblings reunited in Salt Lake City 75 years after family was separated

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Posted at 5:48 PM, Aug 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-20 19:48:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Patsy Maughan was old enough to feel the trauma of watching her family ripped in two 75 years ago.

She was 7 years old on the day she walked to the end of her family's dirt drive and watched a government car drive away with her baby brother and sister.

"They didn't have enough money to pay for them all. That's what we understand," said Patsy's son, Mark.

Patsy spent much of her life trying to find her young siblings, Dan and Linda.

"I kept writing to California and wanting to know," Patsy said.

But it wasn't until 2015 that Patsy's son, Paul, found her little brother, Dan.

"Little" might be the wrong word for the tall man who walked out of Salt Lake City International Airport's passenger terminal and enveloped his older sister in a bear hug.

"Well, hello!" Dan shouted, clearly excited to meet Patsy.

Dan and Patsy have been talking twice a week since their first phone call four months ago.

They didn't grow up far apart in Southern California. Dan was raised in a dentist's family in Banning. He attended USC, joined the Army, and went to graduate school before a career with the McDonnell Douglas Corporation.

Patsy stayed with their biological parents, married, and moved to Utah where she raised nine children, several of whom were present at the reunion.

Dan said he's been thinking of the reunion for years and it couldn't come soon enough.

"I've been talking about this to everybody I could," he said.

Dan and Patsy only wished they could share it with their two siblings. Johnnie--who grew up with Patsy--and Linda--raised with Dan--both died years ago.