WHITE LAKE — New Year’s Eve will be one that Arthur Yankasky and his sister Marianne Overbay won’t soon forget. Not because of the famed ball drop or any celebrations they may have taken part in. They will both remember it because it was the day they finally met for the first time.
Overbay said she had often wondered throughout her life if she had a brother or sister out there somewhere.
“I wondered about it and a mutual friend confirmed it one day,” said Overbay.
She said once her suspicions were validated and she learned of Yankasky, she began a search for her brother. Overbay said she found a Facebook page belonging to him and sent him a message. Then she waited.
Yankasky said he had no idea growing up that he had another sister. Until contacted by Overbay, he never gave the idea of having another sibling much thought.
“Growing up, I thought I was my dad’s first born,” said Yankasky.
He had two half-siblings growing up, but there was a big age difference between himself and them. He was never told at the time that he had another sibling.
“I was really shocked. I didn’t know what to think at first,” said Yankasky. “I was both shocked and excited.”
“We did do a DNA test to confirm we are brother and sister, and it came back 99 percent,” said Overbay.
She added that was a really high percentage since the pair are technically considered half-siblings. Both Overbay and Yankasky said once they began to communicate with each other over the Internet and eventually through telephone calls, they were amazed to learn how much they have in common.
They both share similar interests such as driving identical cars.
“We have silver two-door Honda Accords with dark-tinted windows,” said Overbay laughing at the coincidence.
They both grew up spending summers vacationing at White Lake, but never met.
“I went there as a kid on vacations and so did he. We both went there as kids, but didn’t know about each other,” said Overbay.
They also shared similar college majors. Yankasky, who is currently a student at UNC-Wilmington, wants to go on to major in integrative medicine at Bastyr University in California. Overbay, who has graduated from college, majored in counseling.
“Both majors have something to do with helping others,” said Overbay. “We both share a very strong Christian faith. Our beliefs are definitely the same.”
Overbay said when she attended college, she went to school full-time and paid for college. Her brother is also working and attending college.
Yankasky laughed and said his sister is very much like himself to the point of almost being a clone.
“We started talking in January of last year and have been trying to get together for almost a year,” said Yankasky. “It was just a matter of our schedules meshing.”
Both Overbay and Yankasky said the New Year’s Eve meeting took place at Yankasky’s stepfather’s place at White Lake and went very well. They continue to talk to each other on the telephone and are planning to meet again, possibly this summer, schedules permitting.
“He told me he was proud to have a sister like me,” said Overbay of the New Year’s Eve meeting.