View Full Version : 2 brothers meet for the first time by chance while vacationing in Hawaii

Art Vandelay
06-06-2011, 03:51 PM
Chance unites brothers


Half-brothers Rick Hill and Joe Parker who met for the first time on a Honolulu beach. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
For years, half-brothers Richard M. Hill of Lunenburg and Joseph M. Parker, formerly of Leominster, led totally different lives, unaware of each other's existence.

But a chance meeting last week on a beach half a world away reunited the men, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Mr. Parker, 38, moved to Hawaii a year ago after deciding to change his lifestyle, and is working at a resort hotel on Waikiki Beach.

On April 18, he walked to the beach to book surf lessons for a guest at the hotel, and when he turned around he saw a woman taking a picture of her family with the famous Diamond Head volcanic formation in the background.

“I said to her, ‘Here, let me take your picture and you will have one of the whole family,' ” he said.

Then he heard her husband speaking, recognized a Massachusetts accent and, after learning they were from Lunenburg, he began asking about people they might know in common.

“And I don't know why I said it, but I said, ‘Do you know Dickie Halligan?' ” said Mr. Parker.

“That's my father,” said Mr. Hill.

“I flipped up my glasses and took a real good look at Rick, and told him that Dickie was my father, too. There are no real words to describe what I was feeling at the time. It was like an out-of-body experience. I froze up and could not believe it,” said Mr. Parker.

The two men grew up in very different circumstances.

“I was more or less an orphan and lived in many foster homes in many different towns in Massachusetts, and I did graduate from Leominster High School, while Rick lived with his mother and step-father in Lunenburg all of his life,” said Mr. Parker.

Up to the age of 5, Mr. Parker knew a man he called Uncle Dickie. Uncle Dickie then disappeared out of his life until he was 21. A relative told Mr. Parker she had seen an ad in the local newspaper saying that Joseph Parker and his mother should contact a certain phone number.

“I called and Uncle Dickie showed up. I was happy to see him, all of my memories were good of him, but he told me to sit down and then he told me he was my father, and I was so angry that I was never told this. He also told me that I had a brother, but I never communicated with Dickie after that, I was so angry,” said Mr. Parker.

Mr. Halligan died in 2002 in Florida, where he had moved.

Mr. Hill was shocked when he learned that Mr. Parker was his brother.

“I was really taken aback. Chills went down my spine and I went numb. I never thought that this could happen. Our father died nine years ago, and we more or less did not know that the other existed,” said Mr. Hill.

The Hills landed in Hawaii on a family vacation on April 15. After they met Mr. Parker, they have spent every day with him since.

Mr. Hill is a self-admitted Lunenburg “townie,” is president of Lunenburg Youth Football, is married with two school-aged children, and has deep roots in the community. Since the news of his encounter with his half-brother was aired on FoxNews.com, his cellphone has been flooded with calls from back home.

“This was such an extreme coincidence the way it happened. What are the odds, one in a million? But Joe found family with us, and my kids love him,” said Mr. Hill.

And the best thing that happened to Mr. Parker? He celebrated his birthday on Easter Sunday … with his new-found family.