Man’s Dying Wish is to Find Siblings

Donald Koons was separated from his siblings shortly after his mother's death 70 years ago.

Ashley Foster December 02, 2017
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In Pennsylvania, 77-year-old Donald Koons is lying on his death bed still searching for answers. Donald is in Hospice care following a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer. His dying wish is to find his long lost siblings.

His mother, Mabel Mae Koons, died of heart failure in 1947. Her husband, Owen, initially sent the two youngest of their five children, Patricia (Patsy) and Wayne, away to live with someone else. Any time the older kids would inquire about their whereabouts, he would brush them off, saying everything was fine. Not long after the toddlers left, the older kids were sent to live in various foster and adoptive homes.

Donald went to live in an orphanage located by the town dump. He ended up with a poor family in an unkempt house with animals. He chose to move out on his own when he was 15. Around that time he ran across his brother, George, who could be recognized by a birth defect that affected his walk. Don had already reconnected with their older sister, Mary. He and George kept in touch from that point on.

In 1980 the brothers received word that Owen was dying from leukemia. The pair went to see him, hoping to obtain some information. Owen asked for their forgiveness but refused any details about the youngest siblings. Owen ultimately took his secrets with him to the grave.

Over time, Donald’s determination to find his missing siblings only grew. There was no paper trail due to a flood in the Northumberland County Courthouse. He does remember the name Rosenberg being mentioned around the time the toddlers disappeared, but nothing has ever come from that lead. He was able to track down a minister who said the two were adopted in either the York or Reading areas. Don’s daughter has been scouring the internet for years. In 2014 she found a post by a woman named Patricia Koons. The post said she was looking for her family. By the time she found it, the post was two years old. She sent the woman messages but got no reponse.

If you have any information please call 570-486-9354.

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Ashley Foster

Ashley Foster is a freelance writer. She is a wife and mother of two currently residing in Florida. She loves taking trips to the beach with her husband and sons. As an infant, she was placed with a couple in a closed adoption. Ashley was raised with two sisters who were also adopted. In 2016, she was reunited with her biological family. She advocates for adoptees' rights and DNA testing for those who are searching for family. Above all, she is thankful that she was given life. You can read her blog at

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