PALMDALE – It was the best Christmas present she’s ever had, Jacquie Hilton said of uniting at last with a half sister she heard about but had never met. The meeting was almost too late. Her sister, Dot Hilton Warren, whose family had been searching for Hilton for 24 years, was critically ill, suffering from congestive heart failure and diabetes. “When they at long last made contact with me, it was like a dream come true. In the back of my mind I barely remembered hearing that I had a sister and, possibly, two brothers, but I wasn’t sure it was true,” Hilton said. On Dec. 13, Hilton got a phone call from a niece telling her that her older half sister – the women had the same father but different mothers – was in a hospital in Portland, Ore., with not much time left. Warran and a daughter, visiting from Rhode Island, got on a plane the same day. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake “When we took off I was still in the same clothes I’d been wearing all day,” she said. “I didn’t know how it would play out – how my nephews and I would recognize each other when I deplaned but I shouldn’t have worried,” Hilton said. “There was such a strong family resemblance that we knew each other immediately. And from the very first, I could feel love flowing between us.” Dot, 82, rallied when she arrived. By the time Jacquie had to leave again, she said it felt like they’d known each other forever. It almost seemed as though Dot clung to life just long enough to see and get to know her little sister, 11 years her junior. Dot died peacefully on Dec. 15. “Our father, Jack Hilton, was a good man. He was a barber and both our mothers had been beauticians. I had to let Dot know what a loving and kind man he really was and how he loved all his children,” said Hilton. Dot was only 1 when their father left his first wife, her mother. She always felt he had abandoned them, Hilton said. Hilton’s parents divorced when she was 3 years old. She stayed with her grandmother while her mother worked, but her father would come back and take her. “I’d be out playing in the front yard, and he would just come and take me away with him. He was a good father and I missed him a lot but when he did that it drove my grandmother crazy. After all, she was responsible for me,” said Hilton. Her father started having seizures and had to be put in a rehabilitation hospital. After that, her mother told her he was dead, she said. As Dot grew older, she heard that their father had married again and that she had a baby sister. “Over the years,” Hilton said, “finding me had become a Warren family joke. Greeting each other didn’t begin with ‘Hello.’ Conversations always started with ‘Have you found Aunt Jacquie yet?”‘ Her sister’s family finally located her after finding her name on the Internet. Hilton, the widow of Leonard John Iasparro, has two daughters, Valerie Kelly and Cynthia Reppe, both of Jamestown, R.I.; five grandsons, one granddaughter and one great grandson. A holistic medicine nutritionist and herbalist, she’s a dance enthusiast, an astrologer, animal rescuer, holds a doctorate in holistic health and has been an Antelope Valley resident at since 1989. She intends to spend a lot of time in the future enjoying her best Christmas present ever…a wonderful new family. — Menus for the week at the senior life nutrition sites in Lancaster and Palmdale have been announced. All meals include bread, margarine and coffee, tea or milk, for a suggested donation of $2. Monday: HOLIDAY. Tuesday: Braised beef and noodles, soup, zucchini squash, tossed salad, citrus cup. Wednesday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn nibblets, three bean salad, tomato juice, lemon pudding. Thursday: Creole chicken, rice pilaf, soup, Normandy vegetables, cottage cheese, cookies. Friday: Ham slice, sweet potatoes, egg drop soup, stewed tomatoes, creamy coleslaw, banana.— This column disseminates news of interest to seniors of all ages. Bettie Rencoret may be contacted at (661) 943-2998, or messages may be left at the Antelope Valley Bureau Daily News offices, (661) 267-5742.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!