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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 06, 2012, 10:06 PM

Families help two brothers reunite after 80 years

CASSELTON, N.D. (WDAY TV) - A reunion a long time in the making is playing out in Casselton, North Dakota. Two brothers, ages 82 and 84, hadn't seen each other in 80 years. But with a little detective work, their families made possible the reunion of a lifetime.

By: Robin Huebner, WDAY, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

CASSELTON, N.D. (WDAY TV) - A reunion a long time in the making is playing out in Casselton, North Dakota. Two brothers, ages 82 and 84, hadn't seen each other in 80 years. But with a little detective work, their families made possible the reunion of a lifetime.

With the first welcome at the airport, their shared sense of humor was already apparent.

Kenneth Corcoran: "Hell, I recognized him as soon as he came off. Well, 80 years. I looked and said, there he is."

And now, Kenneth Corcoran and Edward Muir have a lot of catching up to do.

Born in Chicago, their lives changed forever when their mother died and their father said he couldn't care for them.

The young brothers and their three siblings were left at an orphanage, only to be split up, their names changed and raised in different states.

They had no means to get in touch until a few years back when Kenneth's daughter, Pam, started some online detective work. Promising leads led to dead ends until a few weeks ago when her son Alex intervened on the computer.

Pam Gregerson, Corcoran’s daughter: "He said mom you need a break, just go away, let me play with this and within 15 minutes he's yelling ‘Mom get in here, I think I found him,’ and he did."

Whirlwind plans were in motion and when the brothers finally met, it was almost like they'd never been apart.

Gregerson: "Those two old guys are totally twins. They're identical. They look alike, they act alike, how they raised us. Everything is the same."

Over the years, both served in the military. Kenneth was a railroad lineman and Edward an electrician. They have similar interests. Even the same favorite song, Wabash Cannonball.

Gregerson: "It's what my dad wants played at his funeral, yes."

But there's one place they differ. Politics.

Muir: "Oh yes. He's a democrat and I'm a republican."

After a few days of visiting, they're finishing each other’s sentences and feeling wistful about the gift they've been given.

Muir: "I'm glad it all turned out the way it has, at least before we left this earth, that I got to meet you."

Gregerson: "My dad always wanted to know, and now he does."

The brothers hope to see each other again. Kenneth is making plans to go down to Florida, where Edward lives.

And the rest of the extended family is already planning trips to get to know each other better.

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