Videos & Speeches
Feb 14 2013
Another sad occasion in Kansas. A week ago this past Sunday, the Wichita community was struck by the tragic news that Randy and Suzy Storms were killed in a fatal car accident in east Wichita. Randy and Suzy were traveling home from visiting a friend at a local hospital when Randy experienced a health problem while driving, which led to a devastating accident.
Randy and Suzy were very well known and very well loved in the Wichita community for more than 30 years. Their care and compassion for those in difficult circumstances shaped how they lived their lives. Randy had a special gift for connecting with those who were struggling, perhaps because he knew how difficult life could be. As a teenager, Randy suffered a spinal injury which forced him to live as a quadriplegic. Resolved to make his faith in Jesus the core of his identity and not his physical disability, Randy chose to invest his life in caring for others.
Shortly after high school, Randy began to serve on the staff of Young Life, a Christian organization that mentors and works with young people. His position at Young Life was a springboard to reaching a wider Wichita community. Over the years, Randy became a counselor and friend to countless pastors, community leaders, young adults, and everyone else who was in need of a friend.
Jen Shively, who served with Randy for 27 years, remembered that he “loved people well,” and that “loving others was effortless for him.” Nan Chastain met Randy while attending Young Life and she remembers Randy as “the definition of faithfulness.” She said, “He was always there for anyone whenever they needed him.” In short, Randy Storms valued every life.
His wife Suzy was also known for her great love and her care for others. On any given day, you could find Suzy helping young women and teen mothers in need of encouragement and a listening ear. Sean Spencer, a long-time friend of the Storms, knew Suzy to be a person of great strength and grace. Together, the couple invested in the lives of many married couples, both young and old, who were facing the trials of life together. Randy and Suzy found joy in serving together and encouraging others.
The Wichita community came to know the Storms as the folks who would show up to your kids' sporting events, high school graduations, and baptisms to celebrate what means the most in life: people. The Storms were also known as the folks who would faithfully show up at the darkest hour to lend a helping hand or to offer comfort to those facing serious difficulties.
Randy and Suzy Storms lived out the biblical teaching to love your neighbor as yourself, and touched the lives of countless Kansans. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to their two children Nick and Natalie and their two grandchildren Jack and Lucy. Randy and Suzy were two very special people who will be greatly missed by so very many.
This tragedy is a somber reminder that every day is a gift and we are not promised a tomorrow. May we learn from the Storms that what truly matters in life is the people around us, and may their example spur us to love one another more deeply. I ask my colleagues as well as all Kansans to remember the Storms family in their thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.