Randell Neal Tracy, AKA “Tuffy” in his hometown of Laredo, and Randy to the rest of us, was born on January 25, 1965, at Trenton Hospital in Trenton, Missouri, to Charles and Marilyn Tracy. He was welcomed home by his older brother Steve, who became his sparring partner in many brotherly wrestling matches. Randy grew up on his Dad’s farm, working alongside his parents, and even helped other farmers with their tasks when he was done at home. Helping others started young for Randy, a quality that would define his life in the most elemental way. He had a natural affinity for any sort of outdoor activity from his earliest years, and spent a lot of time poking around the edges of Medicine Creek as a child, fishing, finding arrowheads and hunting.
Pleasant View Elementary R6 and R7 barely contained young Randy, and he finished up his public education at Trenton Middle School and High School, graduating in 1983. He then worked at Trenton Foods and began classes to become an EMT. He already knew that his first, best calling in life was helping people. Randy obtained his prerequisites for his nursing degree at Trenton Junior College and Kirksville College. In 1988 he moved to Oregon for a while, worked in landscaping, groomed mountain trails with snow cats, lived simply, and competed in triathlons. In 1990 he finished 4th in the Iron Man qualifier race. He truly loved exerting himself in sports, and he earned the grand and accurate title of “daredevil” honestly.
Randy made another move in 1990, to St. Joseph, Missouri. He began his career at Heartland Health as he finished his Bachelor’s Of Nursing Degree, graduating from Missouri Western in 1991. He met Jill, the love of his life, in 1990, and they were married on September 18, 1992. Their daughter, Devon, followed on February 10, 1993.
Devon was her daddy’s girl from the start. He built her a swing in the backyard when she was big enough to stand the g-forces, and he responded to her commands of “Wing! Wing!” many times each day, pushing her high in the sky, over and over again. Their beloved Greyhound Winnie watched it all with gentle amiability. As she grew, the toys got bigger. Randy jumped gently beside his daughter on their backyard trampoline, and, as he did with the swing, he built her a playhouse.
Randy spent these years excelling in all types of biking and racing including BMX, downhill, mountain, road, criterium and earned some national championship titles.
The family moved to Florida in 2003 for four years so Randy could complete his CRNA degree. After CRNA School, Randy and family moved back to St. Joseph in 2007 so Randy could work at Mosaic as a CRNA. He loved his work, the babies, the children, the moms, the dads, the grandpas, the grandmas, his co-workers and everyone in between. He was requested by many to care for them or their family members, which Randy did gratefully with the right balance of love, kindness and humor.
Back in St. Joseph, he once again picked up trail work and mountain biking, which was his first love. His motivation to help others was always pure and kind without ulterior motives. It didn’t matter what he was doing or what the situation was, he was always able to inject some fun.
These years were full of new and old hobbies. Randy learned how to knap his own arrowheads from the rock he would dig, find or buy on his adventures. He spent hours in his garage and was satisfied with his accomplishments as he learned and shared his work with others. Metal detecting also took him on many adventures with friends. He brought home many interesting objects including a 14 carat gold ring he found that fit his daughter’s tiny fingers perfectly. She still wears it to this day.
Randy continued his love for biking and even added volunteering at the local bike shop as a mechanic to his resume. In exchange for his work, he had bikes to ride and of course more “bike stuff.” He dreamed of owning his own shop one day.
On November 3, 2018, a day like any other, he kissed and hugged his wife before departing on a bike ride. He said, “I love you! Don’t worry, I’ll be safe and back before you know it,” like he had done a thousand times before. However, that was not the case this time. Randy had a terrible bike accident with accompanying traumatic brain injury. He spent 26 days in ICU at KU Hospital with successes and setbacks.
Before transferring to Madonna Rehab in Lincoln, Nebraska, on November 29, 2018, Randy suffered a large stroke, which insulted his brain yet again. At Madonna, he did initially make some progress. He was more awake, learned to speak some, practiced patting and hugging his loved ones and began working on new rehab machines in the gym.
Sadly, on December 11, 2018, Randy suffered a large brain bleed that he could not recover from. Miraculously, he was able to interact with his wife and daughter one last time when they said their good-byes. He nodded his head in understanding to their words, hugged and patted them as if to offer comfort to them.
Randy’s family worked with the Nebraska Organ Recovery team towards donating his organs, as that was what Randy wanted. When talking about organ donation, he always said, “If I’m dying, give them to someone that can use them, I don’t need them anymore.”
On December 15, 2018, at 4:37 p.m. with his wife cradling his head, his daughter holding his hand, and surrounded by loving friends and family, Randy’s amazing soul departed this earth. His body went on for organ recovery surgery, however, it was found that he had cancer in both of his kidneys and therefore was unable to donate any of his organs to another person. Instead, his organs were donated to research programs.
Randy’s legacy lives on through his wife, daughter, mom, dad, and brother, all the people he has touched, through the examples he has set, the trails he has cut, the laughter he has shared, the stories told and the dresses he wore every Halloween.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Clifton L. and Ferrel A. Tracy, and Francis L. and Elizabeth M. Towns, and by his father-in-law, Jim Sybert. Randy is survived by his wife Jill, of their Savannah, Missouri, home; their daughter, Devon, of Kansas City, Missouri; his parents, Charles and Marilyn of Laredo, Missouri; parents-in-law, Jeri Burke and Ray Sisson of St. Joseph, Missouri; brother and sister-in-law, Charles Stephen “Steve” and Mary Tracy of Trenton, Missouri; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Tracy and Mike Lovett of Sidney, Iowa, Travis Sybert of North Kansas City, Missouri, Breea and Brett Holmes of Weston, Missouri, Jade and Lori Sybert of Rock Port, Missouri, Shauna and W.C. Farmer of Rock Port, Missouri, Chad and Mandy Ottmann of Rock Port, Missouri, and Dr. Shane Ottmann and Nicole Nardone of Baltimore, Maryland; nieces and nephews, co-workers and a host of friends.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held Saturday, January 12, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., at Word of Life Church, 3902 NE Riverside Road, St. Joseph, Missouri. The family will greet friends following the service. Memorials may be directed to his wife, Jill Tracy, who will use the funds to carry on Randy’s life mission.
Services are under the direction of Chamberlain Funeral Home, Rock Port. Online condolences may be left at www.chamberlainfuneral.com.