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SEASPAR Spotlight: August 2023

Randy Naberhaus, a shining light in the SEASPAR community, touched many lives with his infectious smile and unwavering positivity. In the wake of his passing on July 8, participants, staff, and family members feel a deep void.

Memories of Randy’s joyful presence flood the minds of those who knew him. Senior Recreation Coordinator Kim Huggins, who recently saw Randy in the SEASPAR office, recalled his warm greeting and radiant smile. It was a small but meaningful encounter that captured Randy’s essence—the ability to radiate happiness and kindness effortlessly. He left an indelible mark on those around him with his genuine care for others and joyful spirit.

Recreation Coordinator Matt Gorecki fondly reminisces about a memorable experience he shared with Randy during a windstorm at the Special Olympics Illinois Spring Games. As chaos unfolded around them, with other tents tossed about by the powerful winds, Randy’s unwavering smile remained intact. Matt marveled at Randy’s ability to find joy in any situation, demonstrating remarkable resilience that inspired everyone around him. It was a valuable lesson in embracing positivity, even in the face of adversity.

Reflecting on Randy’s life, Executive Director Matt Corso highlighted the profound impact he had on the SEASPAR community. Having joined as a teenager when SEASPAR was established in 1976, Randy became an integral part of the organization. The Naberhaus family’s dedication to SEASPAR was unparalleled. Randy’s parents, Hallie, and Bob were devoted volunteers, and his brother, Gary, continues to support the organization. Their collective involvement was so significant that SEASPAR’s Volunteer of the Year Award was renamed in their honor.

Randy’s love of sports and Special Olympics accomplishments are also remembered. He excelled in various Special Olympics sports, participating in countless state tournaments, and representing the USA in Tennis at the 2003 Special Olympics World Games in Dublin, Ireland. Randy most recently qualified for the 2023 Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games in Athletics this spring. His passion and dedication inspired all who witnessed his achievements.

In addition to his athletic pursuits, Randy’s zest for life led him to engage in numerous programs and embark on exciting trips with the staff and fellow participants, who all considered him a friend. His enthusiasm and joyful personality became synonymous with SEASPAR itself. His absence will be deeply felt by the entire community.

Throughout Randy’s journey, one undeniable source of strength and support was his brother, Gary. Their bond was a testament to the power of love and the lengths to which families will take to ensure the well-being and happiness of their loved ones. Gary’s unwavering dedication to Randy’s quality of life left a lasting impression on those who witnessed their bond.

As SEASPAR mourns the loss of a cherished participant, Randy’s memory will forever be treasured. His smile, positive energy, and unwavering kindness will inspire and uplift the SEASPAR community. The lessons he imparted, spreading positivity, embracing challenges with a smile, and cherishing family love, will endure as a testament to his remarkable spirit.