“Be big-hearted, kind and gracious and enjoy life. Because we have just one life to live… ”
“Ron and Kay were too young to die. They had much to share. We do not understand why there was a sunset at what was the mid-day of their lives. But we know that God is in control, and that we live in a sin-scarred and sin-fallen world where people needlessly die,” said Pastor Buckley.
Most of us remember what we were doing a year ago tonight, October 23. We remember what we were doing when news spread that a Luther couple had been brutally murdered by a family member.
We remember. We are shocked it’s been a whole year but also amazed that it hasn’t been ten.
The quote above is from Wellston pastor Lane Buckley who preached the funeral for Ron and Kay Wilkson at Luther school auditorium five days after their death at their own home.
That home now is sold. And their four children, and their 23 grandchildren have spent a year grieving and healing. But with time, they have even more questions asked than answered as to the details of how their own relative could this and if it could have been prevented. But this isn’t the time to dwell on that part of the tragedy.
If we remember this night a year ago, we also remember the fear that ripped through our town all that following week while Michael Vance was at large. And the massive manhunt for him that created national news interest. Was he nearby? Was he a threat? Was he in contact with anyone around here? That lasted a long week until authorities finally caught up with him and killed him in Western Oklahoma. Three accomplices who allegedly gave him weapons and helped him get out of the city are slated for a court date in early November.
A year later, what have we learned? Do we care for our neighbors a little better? Do we run through disaster scenarios in our head? Do we trust the justice system? Have we held law enforcement to a high public safety standard? Have we checked on this family, or the two police officers in Wellston who were also shot? Have we looked after the other victim shot while Vance stole another car east of Luther before he proceeded to the Wilkson’s home? Have we continued to ask questions? Do we intend to be part of the solutions and not the problems?
“Be big-hearted, kind and enjoy life. Because we have just one life to live.”