Mourning Randall and Missing Nathan

Randall Trout, my wife Shannon’s younger brother, passed away yesterday.  He was 47.  Randall struggled with health issues for the past decade, his life full of pain and medications.  Since he lived in Scottsdale (AZ), we didn’t get to see him often.  He had a relationship with Jesus, but his physical pain prompted many questions about God.  My family is grieving this tragic loss.  Shannon leaves early Sunday morning to meet her parents in Scottsdale.

Since I have syllabi to work on and writing projects to focus on, I still went to work this morning.  I got nothing done.  I spent long periods of time staring out my window.  For someone who frequently teaches the Psalms of lament, I know surprisingly little about mourning.  Writing this blog post is the only thing I’ll accomplish today.

God, be with us, particularly with Shannon and her parents. 

My son Nathan leaves early Saturday (tomorrow) for a 10-day missions trip to Haiti.  He joins 8 other high school-ers from our church (Calvary Church of Souderton) to work at an orphanage just outside Port-au-Prince (see Map).  While I’m excited about this opportunity for him to depend upon God and see what God is doing among the poorest of the poor, I am devastated to be separated from him for two weeks.  I leave to teach a two-week intensive course (Genesis) for Fuller Seminary on June 30, and he returns from Haiti on July 1, so I won’t see him again until July 6.  Yeah, I know, “Get over it” but since we’ve moved a lot, it’s made our family close, and we don’t like to be apart.  Noah and I will hold down the fort.

God, bless Nathan’s efforts to bless Haitian orphans and teach me how to be a good long-distance father. 

While we’re in CA, it will be good to see my brother and his family in the Pasadena area, Shannon’s parents in Orange County, and friends in the SF Bay Area.  Besides teaching for Fuller, I’ll be speaking and teaching at 3 churches while in CA (see Speaking schedule).

Image from Wikipedia, “Haiti”.


  1. Dave,
    I am praying that you all can embrace a very deep, meaningful time of mourning for Randall.

    I’ll also be praying for Noah’s safety and ministry.

    Lord help Dave to find a new depth of relationship with You and reliance on You through all he is experiencing right now.

  2. Come on Trish, why do you use such a Christian cliche at a time of mourning and loss. Be more considerate.

  3. Charles, how can you judge if trish was quoting Romans 8:28 as a cliche? The truth is God’s word and filled with deep comfort. Don’t be so judgmental.

  4. Thanks for your words of compassion. Given our situation right now, I’m going to view every comment in the best possible light, so I appreciate all of your comments.

  5. Nathan,
    I’ve been out of the country a few weeks and just got the news this morning. Please have someone call me. I hope you’ve heard of me. I was a friend of Randy for 42 years. I was at your wedding. I have no doubts my friend is in a better place. Ruben Ocampo (901) 486-8733

  6. Hi David, you do not know me but I may know Randall Trout, is he married to Tarrah Lang Trout? Did he work at Square D for many years? I worked with him 12 years ago, and i came across your post. If i have the right Randy can you please email me at Thanks so much

  7. Hi David,

    I just tried calling Randy a few minutes ago. I had tried calling him a few times since June. This was the first time I recevied a ‘not in service’ message when I called. Fearing the worst, I searched for an obituary and found this blog.

    I last spoke to Randy in April. I last saw him when I visited his house in Scottsdale in early 2010. I met his mother there during one of my visits in 2009-2010, while I was living in the USA.

    Randy and I met while working together at EG&G. We maintained a close friendship over the years. We dance the polka at Okterberfest and made several road trips to the river together. One of my favortite road trips was to Laughlin/Lake Mojave (in 1994?), around the time I moved to Asia and got married. We had a blast on the beautiful go-fast boat he had. I was very happy to have Randy as a guest at my wedding the next year in CA.

    More recently, Randy helped me through some troubled times, and I tried to be there for him when he was in pain. It broke my heart to see his strong body weakened, to hear him describe his phsical and emotional pain.

    I loved Randy. He was a true friend, one of the best I have had in my life. He was smart and kind and fun. I will mourn him today and forever. I will thank God for him and pray for his soul.

    Sincerely, Gregory O’Brien

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