March 4, 2010

Newly reunited siblings locate another sister

ABIGAIL CURTIS

— By

Bangor Daily News

WALDOBORO — On Tuesday's ''Today'' show, Joanne Campbell of Warren told the nation that she and her two newly reunited brothers in Waldoboro were looking for another long-lost sister.

That sister, Kathleen Cooper, happened to be watching at home in Florida -- and on Wednesday morning's broadcast on NBC, the four siblings had an emotional reunion on live TV.

''We're all dumbfounded,'' Randy Joubert, 36, told ''Today'' show host Meredith Viera just moments after meeting Cooper for the first time. ''But we can start getting to know each other now.''

The story of the two men who worked together for weeks at Dow Furniture in Waldoboro before realizing they were brothers has swept through Maine and the country.

Joubert and Gary Nisbet, 35, shared their experience over the last two weeks with local newspapers and news shows. One week ago, Campbell showed up at the furniture gallery saying that she was their half sister and had the birth certificate to prove it.

''I'm really awestruck,'' Campbell told the Bangor Daily News last week. ''After all these years, here I am 41 and now I finally found my brothers.''

All of the siblings were born to the same mother, who apparently suffered from emotional problems and was abusive. They ended up in foster care and then were adopted after the state took them from her.

Joubert recently gained access to his adoption records through Maine's new law and found the names of his biological mother and father -- Wilfred and Joan Pomroy, both of whom are now deceased.

Joubert learned that he had a younger brother from the same parents but was uncertain of how to find him.

Then he took a job at Dow Furniture in July and began working with Nisbet, who looks so much like him that they could be twins. But it wasn't until they had worked together for nearly two months that they realized they were brothers.

After word of the brothers' reunion got out, they learned about their sister Joanne Campbell.

But the family of siblings still wasn't complete, as one sister was still missing. Her birth name was Claire Marie, and Campbell said she had even gone to high school with her in Maine.

''I knew my freshman year that she was my sister, but I was told she didn't know, so I respected that,'' Campbell said Wednesday on the ''Today'' show.

Cooper was brought to the program for a surprise reunion with Campbell, Joubert and Nisbet. The four, who share a family resemblance, hugged one another tearfully.

''Down is up, and up is down,'' Joubert said on the program.

The world seems a little topsy-turvy at Dow Furniture, too, which has been inundated by media calls from all over the country and even England, said an employee, Bill Maxwell.

''It's been unbelievable,'' he said Wednesday. ''Everyone from People magazine to Ellen DeGeneres to radio stations throughout the country (has been calling). It's pretty much all we've done for a week and a half. It's been pretty crazy.''

According to WLBZ-TV in Bangor, yet another of Joubert and Nisbet's half siblings was located Wednesday -- George Pomroy of Biddeford.

Pomroy, a son of Wilfred Pomroy by another marriage, apparently is their elder half brother. The Waldoboro brothers could not be reached for comment on that development Wednesday.

Despite the fuss, everyone at Dow Furniture is glad for the two brothers who work together there.

''They're pretty good eggs,'' Maxwell said.

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