Ray named his daughter after his favorite uncle. Yes, Ray wanted a daughter. Dabney's father was a career Navy man. Her mother was a swindler, out to take whatever she could from whoever would allow. Sally was a slimy snake that preyed on Dabney's grief-stricken father. Ray Meyers was a handsome, grieving widower. He is also the father of a young son. His son was born five years before his daughter. Ray's son lived with his maternal grandparents. Ray was a sailor in the Navy. He frequented the bars during his home furloughs. He loved to dance, and the social scene helped squelch the pain of losing his wife and toddler son. A bar in Omaha, Nebraska was where Ray and Sally met. Sally was a married woman. She and her Army husband, Dale, parented three children. They had two daughters and a son. Ray had no idea that Sally lived a secret life. Sally never allowed Ray to visit her at home. They always met somewhere public, most often the bar. Sally claimed that she lived with her abusive mother. The soft-hearted Navy sailor never suspected a thing. Between December 24th and December 26th, 1962, Dabney was conceived. Sally left her home state of Nebraska with Ray. Ray, being a good man, wanted to do the right thing. He married Sally on May 18th, 1963. Ray moved his new wife to Imperial Beach, California. He was stationed on the USS Currituck. In August of 1963 Sallys sons appendix burst. Sally had to leave her cushy life in California to deal with her son's medical emergency. Sally's other children were not living with their father. They were staying with friends of Sally. Ray never saw his military pay after he married Sally. He had his checks sent to their address. Sally didn't pay the bills. Instead, she saved up the money for bills so she could return to Nebraska. Ray did not know what happened to make Sally leave him. He knew nothing of Sallys other children or her other marriage. He didn't even know Sally had left until he was reprimanded for not paying his bills. Military personnel can not, not pay their bills. Because Sally left him, he had their marriage annulled. Ray did not receive word of his daughter's birth. He heard nothing about Sally's situation, until two years later. As usual, Sally was at the bar. She left her four children home, alone. While Sally was gone an uncle came by the apartment. He forced himself on the eldest of Sally's daughters. That daughter was only 7 years old. An elderly neighbor heard Sally's daughter crying. She then called the police. Social Services took all four children that day. Dale rescued his children, but Dabney was not his. Per his eldest daughter's request, Dale contacted Dabney's father on the USS Currituck. That is when Ray found out about Sally's secrets. Two years after his little girl's birth. Dabney went to live with her mother's family. Sally still had her parental rights. Sally retained those rights until she attempted suicide. Dabney's aunt tricked an illiterate Sally into signing relinquishment papers. It was then that Social Services moved 5-year-old Dabney to a foster home. In 1970, Sally amended Dabney's birth certificate. It is most likely that Sally needed help to change her daughter birth information. Sally was not a sharp-minded woman. She changed the name on her birth certificate to Daphne Rae Mayers. Sally took no chance that her youngest daughter would find out the truths of her adoption. Ray tried to stop his daughters' adoption. He contacted the family who took Dabney in. DNA proved years later that Dabneys foster family was her actual family. The birth certificate change stopped Ray from protecting his daughter. The Winkenwerder's adopted Dabney on February 18th, 1971. Dabney's life was forever changed. Her adoption was far from a good one. Her adoptive mother quite literally tried to kill her on more than one occasion. Miracle children often find ways to survive. Dabney was a miracle child. She beat the odds of her not being able to survive. The Winkenwerder's changed Dabney's name to Carol. Carol grew up. She survived. She married and had her own children. At age 52 Carol took a DNA test through MyHeritage. She found the family Sally tried so hard to hide from her. That year Carol managed to find all of her family members on her maternal side of her family tree. She struggled to know who was on her paternal side of the family tree. Carol took a second DNA test through Ancestry. Within minutes, Carol found out she was not a Mayers as she thought she was. She was a Meyers. Carol has managed to find her big sisters and her fathers' son. It took her 55 years, but Dabney never gave up looking for her family. Her father, unfortunately, passed away before she found him. Ray Sterling Meyers, Dabney's biological father passed away two days before her birthday. September 20th, 2007! Rest in peace, ADR1 Ray Sterling Meyers! Thank You For Your Service!
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