Randy RoblyerSeptember 30, 1993 ~ January 20, 2018 (age 24)
Randy Samuel Tumaliuan Casey Roblyer was born September 30, 1993 in the jungles of Luzon in The Philippines. He was the beloved son of Samuel and Magdalena Tumaliuan, leaders in the Agta Tribe, who both died in 1999, and Dwight and Kathleen Roblyer, his adoptive parents. After the death of his birth parents and five long years in an orphanage suffering unspeakable abuse, bullying, and racial discrimination that was never disclosed, he was adopted by the Roblyer family when he was 10 years old, along with his younger sister, Andrea. From the beginning, it was clear that Randy was an untamed spirit with a sharp wit, fierce loyalty, a clever intellect, the wile of a survivor, and a hunger for freedom. Randy pushed against boundaries at the same time that he hung on tightly to those whom he loved. He sought closeness and community and had a passion for helping anyone who was struggling more than he was, often sharing what he had even if he went without. This meant that sometimes he trusted people who were untrustworthy and longed for acceptance from people who rejected him. People bullied him, stole from him, and abused him in countless ways. Each time, he was devastated when he learned of their betrayal.
Randy also struggled with a lifetime of physical and mental health problems, including traumatic brain injury after a fall from a water buffalo, posttraumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, learning disabilities, and a very unusual and brittle form of insulin-dependent diabetes. He was frustrated that there were no cures for these problems and sometimes rebelled against treatment, wanting badly to feel “normal.” He had suicide attempts and many hospitalizations. But he kept trying, learned a little each time, and grew in God’s love.
God brought people into Randy’s life who were instrumental in helping him on his journey to becoming the person he wanted to be: pastors, therapists, health care providers, his probation officer, employers and co-workers, his work family at Shipley Do-Nuts, his flag football team, precious friends, neighbors, and his large family. Many had to set limits and practice tough love, but their love is what gave Randy life and hope and enabled him to keep moving forward and grow into a man who contributed to society, loved passionately, and depended on God.
Despite this, the accumulation of betrayals were too much for him. He disappeared on January 7, 2018, after work. A community-wide search ensued. Family and friends were sickened with fear but clung to hope for two weeks, until learning on January 20 of his death by suicide sometime earlier. Law enforcement officers from several jurisdictions were thorough, professional, and supportive to the family. An unexpected community of support sprung up from a Facebook post that had over 13,000 shares and many people gave testimony to Randy’s bright smile and passionate service. Media were gracious, kind, and supportive to Randy’s family and friends while being faithful to report truth.
Randy leaves his family with many wonderful memories and the comfort of Randy’s presence with God: parents, Dwight and Kathy Roblyer; siblings and their partners, Andrew Roblyer, Joe Hartsoe, Patrick Roblyer, Hannah Roblyer, Emma Roblyer, Jarryd Spears, Kanya Roblyer, Benjamin Gonzales, Daniel Roblyer, Andrea Roblyer, Chance Roblyer; nieces and nephews Aiden, Athena, Sarah, Ava, Grace; and baby Audrey Marie, whom he loved with all his heart.
Now we are left to mourn Randy’s death and celebrate his life in a memorial service at Friends Congregational Church in College Station on Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 3:00 p.m.
We are also left to consider Randy’s legacy, which means calling out mental health problems and suicide so that lives can be saved, advancing treatment and cures for diabetes, and working creatively to build community with God’s compassion and inclusion for all. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those who wish to honor Randy’s memory build up their local community in a way that is meaningful to them. Suggestions for contributions include: Twin City Mission (or homeless shelters); organizations like the American Diabetes Association, nPOD, or University of Miami Brain Endowment Bank who are dedicated to finding cures to diseases that affect millions; Friends Congregational Church (or faith-based groups promoting inclusivity); and Holt International (or agencies promoting ethical adoption). Additional information may be found at the “Randy Roblyer’s Legacy” Facebook page which will be dedicated to helping to build community.
DATE/TIME: Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 3:00 PM. Seating will begin at 2:30 PM. The service is expected to last an hour or longer.
PLACE: Friends Congregational Church, 2200 Southwood Dr., College Station, TX 77845, near the intersection of Southwood Dr. & Harvey Mitchell Parkway South (FM 2818). www.friends-ucc.org
CAPACITY: The church seats about 250 people, but we hope to have overflow seating outside.
CHILDCARE: Not available. Please make separate childcare arrangements for children who did not know Randy personally.
PARKING: Limited. Please carpool. Overflow parking will be on-street or as directed.