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Randy Samuel Tumaliuan Casey Roblyer

September 30, 1993 – January 20, 2018

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. Details for attendance may be found at the Hillier Funeral Home website (www.hillierfuneralhome.com). 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.

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This isn’t an obituary, but the words of a son at the father of a friend of a friend’s funeral.

I’m Timothy Burton, Chuck Burton’s son. I’m one of 5 boys and 3 girls who were blessed enough to call Chuck Burton our father.

If I were to sum up my father’s life, I’d say it was about building and teaching and including others in his journey.  Last year on the celebration of his 90th birthday, he said this about his life: “I’ve worked hard and stayed the course. My life has been about quality and all of you here today have contributed to making a better me.”

Let me share of few of our memories of the lasting impact he had on us:

My father was positive throughout his life. As an officer on a ship in the South Pacific during WWII, he had seen the worst. He survived two typhoons and witnessed the aftermath of Hiroshima – but he never let those experiences keep him down. Instead, he would say to us: “You live in a free country, you have a roof over your head, food on the table and parents who love you. Now go out and do something with your life.“

My father was self-made and self-reliant. From the way he tackled every home project, took care of our cars, did our taxes, Chuck engaged in the world as a man who would be its master.

My father helped us – and many of his clients – make tough decisions. With his trusty yellow pad, he was famous for splitting the page in two and writing down the pros and cons of every situation.  

My father was a well-respected business man who was known for being tough but fair. He built a business empire from nothing. At his own wedding, a chance encounter led to the beginning of his career in insurance. He insured the City of Houston and Marriott Hotels and over the years built a prosperous career that afforded us a very comfortable life.  He was known as “Chuck Burton, Your Friendly Insurance Man” to many people who knew him.

My father always said that people who lived their lives in black and white were a whole lot more miserable than those who learned to live in grey. Give a little, get a little.  Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. A true believer in karma and balance. But he was also human and when someone hurt us and eventually got their due, he was right there rooting for us.

He was always fair and that’s not easy with 8 kids. Whether it was the rotating list of who got the front seat of the car, who went on the most recent “alone time” trip with him and Mom, he knew how to parse out favors in challenging situations. He was a real diplomat.

My father taught us how to be responsible and frugal and never to put our own families in jeopardy. He was our personal financial advisor. After he retired, he had business cards printed up that read “Chuck Burton – Banker and Diplomat.”

My father had a quiet humility about him that served our family well through the years. He really was a very kind man with a gentle soul. Everyone one of us collapsed into my father’s arms at some point in our lives because he knew how to comfort, without any agenda, when we hit bumps in life.

But my father was a very funny man and he always chose humor first. He loved telling jokes and for us there wasn’t anything more precious than the anticipation of the punch line- which he dragged out until we were hurting.  He wasn’t above slapstick humor either- like the time he paraded around the house wearing Mom’s wig during her cancer treatment.

My father loved my mother unwaveringly and that wasn’t always easy. He stuck with her through four bouts of cancer and although age and illness had ravaged her he never wanted to be anywhere except by her side.  He hid love notes in her luggage when she was away and wrote countless poems professing his love and admiration for her. He called Mom his partner and he meant it.

They had a genuine love and respect for each other that was palpable. Above all, my father always reminded us that he was nothing without his wife and that it was Mary Esther that had molded him into the man he was.

My father loved the good things in life like golf, tennis, fishing, fast cars, the outdoors, gardening and building stuff. He liked Neil Diamond blaring on the radio, dancing in the living room scantily clad. He liked his bourbon strong. He loved poetry and he wrote each of us poems marking the transitions in our lives. He cherished breakfast out with Laurie, building and fixing things with me, replanting the bamboo with Tom, fishing on the lake with Chris, crackers and milk at midnight in the kitchen with Rosie, watching tennis with Theresa, working professionally alongside Clifford and sitting on the swing with Doug and watching the birds.

Above all, my father loved being a Dad. He didn’t know his own father, who died when he was 2 years old. But his grandfather took him and his sister in and I think he was greatly influenced by that kindness. When we were kids he hid candy on the rim of his fedora hat, drove us to the pool on a tractor and cooked us steak and eggs for breakfast before he left on a work trip. He taught us how to shake hands firmly and look people in the eye, apply for jobs, ride a bike, swim, drive, save money, pour a good cocktail and be good siblings. He nurtured each of us as we built our own families. Above all, my father always told us “I will love you no matter what.” Based on the number of cars we wrecked, fires we started and other youthful indiscretions, loving us wasn’t always easy but we all believed it, every word, always.

I think Dad hit all the high marks in life – husband, son, brother, father, grandfather, great grandfather, business leader and colleague, church leader, friend and confidant. If he were here he’d say “I’ve lived a life I’ve been happy to share – I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Dad, we are all here with your sister Betty, we are all fine, we have money in our pockets, our headlights are clean and we know the way, thanks to you.

Billy Joe Williams
1930 – 1953
Sergeant Billy Joe Williams was born on October 4, 1930 in Madison County, Texas to Joe and Edith (Akins) Williams. After his mother died, he and his four older brothers were placed in the Methodist Orphanage in Waco, Texas.

Sergeant Billy Williams joined the U.S. Army at a young age. His life was cut short while he was serving his country during the Korean War. Sgt. Williams was a member of the 2nd Reconnaissance Company (Recon. Co.), 2nd Infantry Division (Inf. Div.). Sgt. Williams was reportedly captured on February 14, 1951 during a battle between UNC and CPVF in the vicinity of Chum-ni, Republic of Korea (R.O.K.), and marched north to Suan Prisoner of War (POW) Camp Complex. On September 6, 1953, a POW returnee reported during an interview that Sgt. Williams died from dysentery while being held in the Suan Bean POW Camp. The Department of the Army declared Sgt. Williams’s remains non-recoverable on September 8, 1953. The last known family member to have had contact with Sgt. Williams was one of his brothers, also serving in Korea, who’s company had coincidentally passed by Sgt. Williams and his company, while they were both on separate military exercises. The family of Sgt. Williams was notified of the news and were finally able to put closure on the years long mystery as to what had really happened to him after he was captured. 

On December 22, 1993, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K.) unilaterally turned over 34 boxes containing remains thought to be those of U.S. Servicemen. The remains were reportedly recovered from an area with the POW Camp known as the Suan Bean POW Camp. A maternal aunt, Esther Akins Bolton and her son, Douglas Bolton of Decatur, Texas were contacted as remaining, surviving family members to provide DNA to confirm that Sgt. Billy Williams’s remains were part of the remains recovered in 1993. A positive result confirmed that Sgt. Williams was, indeed, part of the group of remains recovered in 1993. His remains will be returned to Madison County where he will be laid to rest on May 17, 2016 at 2:00 P.M. in the Rock Prairie Cemetery, west of Madisonville, Texas. A Chaplain from the U.S. Army will officiate the service, and a full military honor guard will present funeral honors. A register book will be provided for the general public from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on May 12th, 13th and 16th at the Madisonville Funeral Home. 

Sgt. Williams was preceded in death by both of his parents; grandparents, Alford & Oad Akins and four older brothers, A.J., Alton, Leroy and Murl Wiliams. He is survived by one sister-in-law, Estelle Williams of Rosenburg along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Madisonville Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements. Please sign the online memorial guestbook at http://www.madisonville funeralhome.com.

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