NKY philanthropist and local leader learn they are father and son
, 2022-09-25 12:43:00,
ERLANGER, Ky. — Oakley Farris is one of Northern Kentucky’s most prolific philanthropists, generously contributing funds to educational, cultural, and civic initiatives across the region where a number of rooms, landmarks, and programs bear his and his wife’s name.
Bill Scheyer retired in 2016 as the head of Skyward (formerly known as Vision 2015, and now reorganized as OneNKY Alliance) and previously served as president of Southbank Partners after two decades as Erlanger city administrator.
With both Farris and Scheyer holding roles of prominence in Northern Kentucky, their paths had crossed over the years.
But neither man knew how close they really were.
Earlier this year, Farris, 98, and Scheyer, 73, learned that they are father and son, a mystery revealed through Scheyer’s son’s curiosity and the genealogical and DNA testing service, 23andMe.
It started this year, when Scheyer and his son, John, received a notice on his 23andMe genetic profile that he had another relative — probably another first cousin. The website allows users the option to have their potential genetic connections listed publicly.
“I had always been interested in genealogy and had worked on a family tree for both my mom’s and my dad’s side,” John Scheyer explained. “When the notice popped up, it gave the initials ‘O.F.’, and I thought it was probably my niece, Olivia Farmer, since her sister (Emmaline) had already been listed on my profile.
“But when I texted (Olivia), she…
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