Sisters to meet long-lost brother

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 3, 2000

VIDALIA, La. — For close to 30 years sisters Glenda Davis of Natchez and Wanda Sanford of Vidalia searched for their half-brother. Their search is finally over. Warren Humphries is flying to Monroe from England today to meet his family for the first time.

&uot;I’m wearing my waterproof mascara,&uot; Sanford said. &uot;I know I’m going to cry a lot.&uot;

&uot;That will be me for sure, too,&uot; Davis added.

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The road to the reunion has been difficult, with the sisters contacting everyone from the Red Cross to Oprah Winfrey to try to find their half-brother. They didn’t realize that half a world away their half-brother was looking for them as well.

Davis, Sanford and Humphries are all the children of Truman Simpson.

When Simpson was serving in the armed forces in England, he married Olga Bond, and they had a child, Warren.

But Simpson was forced to move to Germany with his troops. When he returned to the United States, he was not allowed to return through England. Simpson and Olga divorced, and Warren stayed in Norwich, England, with his mother.

The sisters said they think Warren grew up believing his father wanted nothing to do with him. But their father never got to see his son except through pictures.

Simpson married Tina Couch in 1946 in Jena. She gave birth to Glenda, now 47, and Wanda, 45. &uot;In 1954, when I was a baby, all contact stopped with Warren,&uot; Sanford said. &uot;No one heard from him. We always knew about him because we had seen pictures.&uot;

Sanford said there was talk of Warren coming to the United States to stay with the Simpsons, but Tina told Olga she and Simpson were getting a divorce.

As the sisters got older, they tried to find a way to get in touch with their half-brother, but they did not know he had changed his last name to Humphries.

In 1991, the sisters contacted the Salvation Army and Red Cross and even sent letters to talk show hosts Oprah Winfrey, Sally Jessy Raphael and Maury Povich, and tried to get the interest of &uot;Unsolved Mysteries.&uot;

Their half-brother Tom Weldon, who was stationed in England in the 1960s, also began an unsuccessful search.

Meanwhile, the sisters’ father, Simpson, died in 1972. Sifting through his things, the sisters found letters and other information about Warren, which renewed interest in their search.

In 1985, Warren’s mother Olga died.

&uot;That’s when Warren found out more about his father through letters and other stuff came to the surface,&uot; Sanford said. &uot;He was going through the Salvation Army trying to find us.&uot;

Sanford, who works at the Sandbar Restaurant in Vidalia, said whenever a customer from England came in, she would ask how to get in touch with people in that country.

Davis, who works at Great River Honda, also had a customer from England and asked the same.

The sisters’ aunt, Mrs. Fred Methvin, had written to Olga, and Methvin’s was turned into the Salvation Army.

While the sisters continued their search, Warren began looking for them as well.

Last November, Warren was having dinner with his ex-wife Christine and decided to try again to find his half-sisters.

&uot;They went back to the Salvation Army,&uot; Sanford said. &uot;They found the name Methvin and it said she lived in Jena. Our aunt had just moved back there. A lady in Atlanta with the Salvation Army got the files and called information in Jena looking for a Fred Methvin. Within minutes they had our aunt on the line and soon after she gave me an 800 number to call.&uot;

&uot;When she called, I went to gushing and crying,&uot; Sanford said.&160; &uot;I called Glenda and had a good cry again.&uot;

The phone number belonged to happened to Warren’s ex-wife, Christine. She gave Sanford Warren’s number, and on Dec. 8, Sanford finally made the call to her half-brother.

&uot;One of his first questions was did I know Father, and I told him I did,&uot; Sanford said. &uot;He was a bit standoffish at first. He was real reserved. I told him we had been looking for him for 20 years. I told him he was all we talked about.&uot;

Warren then called Davis.

&uot;I was in the bathtub and the phone rang,&uot; Davis said. &uot;My son Andrew answered the phone and told me it was my brother. I said, ‘Tom?’ and he said, ‘No, your other brother, Uncle Warren.’&uot;

Davis said she got to the phone as quickly as possible.

&uot;He told me that was strange to be called an uncle,&uot; Davis said. &uot;He said he had never been called that before. He was a little more relaxed after talking to Wanda.&uot;

Davis said Warren, who is now 54, has a 30-year-old daughter named Yvonne.

Davis wanted to meet her half-brother as soon as possible.

&uot;I started asking him when he was coming and that now was a good time,&uot; Davis said. &uot;He said he would have to wait until he could get time off. He drives a tour bus in England.&uot;

He scheduled his visit for today.

While waiting for the reunion, the sisters and their new-found half-brother exchanged Christmas pictures and talked at least once a week.

Sanford said Warren looks like Davis, and seems to act like her.

The family will meet at the Monroe airport and return to Vidalia Sunday, where Simpson will visit for about a week and a half.

&uot;The amazing thing is that we found out he had been in Atlanta in 1996 visiting a friend and had also visited Portland at one time,&uot; Sanford said.

The sisters’ mother, Tina, is coming down from North Carolina, where she now lives with husband, John Spurgeon.

&uot;I’m sure Saturday we’ll stay up all night talking,&uot;&160;Sanford said. &uot;There will be a lot of questions. There are so many things to talk about and find out.&uot;

Sanford said Warren wants to visit his father’s gravesite in Jena.

The two sisters say they know emotions will be riding high.

&uot;I have lived this in my head for so long,&uot; Davis said. &uot;There’s no way to describe how it’s going to be.&uot;

The sisters say their families are excited about the meeting as well.

&uot;It’s like a long-term prayer answered,&uot; Sanford said. &uot;We just start talking about it and our emotions run away.&uot;