SALT LAKE CITY — An 80-year-old man was a new father Friday, and a 60-year-old “only child” met his seven brothers and two sisters for the first time in one moment at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
Dennis Fay lives in Murray and is 80 years old, and his son Michael Reed is 60 and lives in Chicago.
“I’m sweating like a pig,” Fay said as he awaited the big meeting Friday.
Fay fought as a Marine in the Korean War, and after the war he returned stateside. He said he and his friends spent a lot of time at drive-ins in California, and he had a fling with a woman who worked as a carhop.
“She happened to be one of the carhops at one of them, and those days if you were dating a carhop you were pretty macho because they had their pick of men, and I dated her,” Fay said.
He didn’t know his girlfriend had gotten pregnant and given their child up for adoption.
“And one thing led to another, and I never really saw her, and I guess she put that baby up for adoption as soon as she had it,” Fay said. “And so he has been looking ever since he was 12 years old for his birth father, and that’s me.”
Fay said the revelation brings him joy.
“With him I now have eight sons and two daughters, so I’m a very happy man with that big a family.”
Michael Reed went to the Naval Academy, married, and had two kids. He said he was raised as an only child in a very loving family by two adoptive parents who have since passed away.
It was only after he used modern technology in his search that he was able to find Fay.
“I found his cousin online through a DNA site, and she tipped me off to who my father might be,” he said.
The two men and other family members reunited at Salt Lake City International Airport Friday, see the video above for their heartwarming encounter. Fay said it was an incredible experience.
“This is probably the most important day of my life is to meet him, and I’m proud of him,” he said of his son. “There’s not many people that would go through what he went through to find me.”
Reed said it was a powerful moment.
“The father quest is, you know, it’s all over myth and legend and stories–from Star Wars to ancient mythology…. and my quest is over,” he said with tears in his eyes.