Special Reports

Randy England, 34 | Family received the gift of time

A few months ago, Randy England found himself without a job in a bad economy.

It seemed unfortunate then, but it now seems like a blessing in disguise to his family.

He filled those jobless days by spending precious time with his wife, 8-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter.

“He spent so much time with them. It’s like that was the way it was meant to be. … You can take a breath and spend time with your family,” said his brother, Gary England.

They played golf, went to movies and just hung out.

The 34-year-old rural Granby, Mo., man loved to work on automobiles. The latest was a 1956 Chevy panel truck, his brother said.

On Sunday, Randy England and a friend, Dennis Osborn, headed to Joplin to look for a car part.

They haven’t been heard from since.

On Sunday night, a family friend happened upon the truck that Randy England was riding in that evening. It was parked in front of the Home Depot, where several people lost their lives.

The family wasn’t allowed inside the store to help search, but Randy’s brother didn’t leave the parking lot for days. He was waiting for a sign.

“If you love somebody and you love your family, I don’t know any other way to be,” Gary England said.

On Wednesday, officials showed the England family rings from a body matching Randy’s description. They recognized the rings as his.

On Friday, the family still was waiting for official confirmation.

But they didn’t need a coroner to confirm what they already knew.