We met in the fall of 1986 at Anderson University in
Anderson, Indiana. Rich was a junior majoring in math and physics, and Kelly was a
freshman communications major. We both participated in college athletics, and
Kelly contributed to the university newspaper and yearbook. Rich played football, and Kelly was a member
of the women’s basketball and track programs. After graduating in 1988, Rich pursued his master’s degree
from The Ohio State University in Electrical Engineering. After graduation in 1990, we married and
moved to Fort Collins, Colorado.
In 1994, we experienced the birth of our first child, Derek.
And, in 1998, we welcomed our second child, Evan. Our boys also enjoyed
athletics of every kind. Derek gravitated to golf and football as his favorites, while Evan finished his high school athletic experience competing in both
basketball and golf.
Each member of our family has had a focus on our personal
relationship with God, made possible through Jesus Christ. We have been blessed
to be involved in great churches, Bible studies, small groups, and youth groups.
Rich has been fortunate to spend his entire career as an electrical engineer in the
semiconductor industry, and Kelly has spent her career as a women’s basketball
coach at the college and professional level.
In June of 2013, our oldest son Derek, died in an accident shortly
after his freshman year at Colorado Christian University. Intense grief can take a toll on each relationship, including the marriage relationship. Our family’s grief journey continues, and our
desire to encourage marriages on this particular grief journey began to develop
over the last few years. In the spring of 2019, we began taking active steps to
create a nonprofit ministry to provide a marriage retreat respite weekend to encourage, comfort and share the Hope of Jesus in our brokenness.
Derek had such a zest for life, and he had a sparkle in his eyes
that made him a joy to be around. He loved family and many people
described him as an old soul. You know, the kind of young man who always
liked to sit with the grownups and listen to story after story as he drank in
the fellowship. What did Derek like to
do? Even though he played golf at Colorado Christian University, Derek
loved football and was in the process of transferring to Anderson University to
play his sophomore year when he died in an accident in June of 2013. Derek
enjoyed being active and he also loved cars. You know the kind of cars
that most of us can’t afford (Aston Martins, Dodge Vipers, Ferraris, …), but a
guy can dream can’t he?! Who was Derek? Physically, he was 6’4” 210
pounds almost 19-year-old male who was and is the son of Rich and Kelly and the
brother of Evan. Relationally, he was a friend to many and the sort of
guy who had a soft spot for those who were struggling. Most importantly,
Derek was a child of God and for this we are eternally grateful. A child
of the one true King, that’s our Derek.
Born in Colorado, Evan has spent most of his life in Indiana where
he graduated high school. He enjoys many
things from the simple, like rooting for his favorite teams (Clemson
Tigers/Pittsburgh Steelers/Indiana Pacers), to the bigger picture items like building
and maintaining relationships or helping us to build a ministry. He finished his undergraduate degree in
Business Finance at Anderson University, graduating with honors, and is currently working on his
MBA. Evan is engaged to Gabby Kramer, and we all eagerly await their June 11, 2021, wedding date!
Evan, like his brother, enjoys
being active and he too loves cars (again the kind mere mortals only dream
about). In the summer of 2019, he
climbed his first 14er, Long’s Peak. It is one of the more difficult climbs (rated as strenuous) with the
highest failure rate in Colorado, yet he was able to successfully reach the
summit on his first attempt. Another
thing that Evan shares with his brother is his love for Jesus. Not only are Derek and Evan earthly brothers,
they are also brothers in Christ.