I am not sure I have ever explained my father’s childhood situation on this forum.
My dad (Eu)Gene had a very complicated early childhood. He was born October 10, 1930 to Veronica (Koszewski) Pallister and John Thomas Pallister.
When Gene was 3 years old, his mother Veronica (nickname Verna) died from complications related to a work accident.
As the family folklore goes, I had always understood that at the time of Verna's death, John was living in the same house as Gene’s grandparents (Leo and Jennie Koszewski). John was eventually kicked out of the house and Gene stayed with his grandparents.
When Gene was around 6 years old, Leo and Jennie adopted him as John Pallister signed away his parental rights. Eugene Frank Pallister became Eugene Frank Koszewski.
From that point on, obviously, Gene had never again heard from John, his biological father.
The story for my father gets even more complicated from there.
Eventually Jennie passed on and Leo re-married. Gene was around 15 years old and did not particularly care for his new step-mother, so he moved in with his Aunt Clara (Koszewski) and Uncle Frank DeYonker. They eventually adopted him. Eugene Frank Koszewski became Eugene Frank DeYonker.
In 1955, he even went so far as to change his birth certificate to say that Clara and Frank were his parents from birth.
Therefore, my maiden name is DeYonker.
For me, this was an endearing story that made me a little sad and sympathetic to his story and probably why I have always had a heart for the underdog.