~ Byron's Gasser Madness! ~
~ Rest in Peace ~
~ Randy Sacksteder ~
April 20, 1957 - February 10, 2008
Randy Sacksteder was only 50 years old when he left this world after losing his battle with the beast known as cancer on February 10th, 2008.
To be perfectly honest, I don't know a lot about Randy's history, so the only thing I can really address here is what I know and how I feel.
What I do know about Randy is this...he was one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet and he was a hard racer with an immaculate...and fast...race car. For the last six years or so I'd run into Randy a 1 or 2 times a year at places like Thompson or Union Grove and he was always gracious, unpretentious, very friendly, and always willing to spend time "bench racing" with a non-racer like myself. I have spoken to many different people before and since Randy's passing and never heard one single negative comment about him. He was well-liked by everyone who met him and, after all, what better legacy can a person ask for?
As far as racing goes, Randy's Willys was a beautiful example of the breed and he always ran hard and put on a great show for the fans! In addition, in the pits, he was generous with both his time and his parts. If another racer needed help, there wasn't a moments hesitation on his part to jump in and help however he was able.
When we found out a few years ago that Randy had a brain tumor, we were all frightened for him. As a cancer survivor myself, I called him a few times to try to offer encouragement and support him during his battle with the beast. After his seemingly successful surgery, we were all relieved, thinking that he had it beat! That's why, when on the morning of February 10th, when I received an email letting me know that he'd succumbed to the cancer an hour or so earlier I was so shocked and saddened. That's also why it's only now, almost 2 months later that I can bring myself to write about his death. I guess I've been in denial, but Randy deserved better from me.
Since I started writing this today, I've learned a little more about Randy. After closing his Body Shop in New Trenton, IN about 20 years ago, Randy and his brother had a couple of furniture stores in New Trenton and in Cincinnati. OH. He was also part owner and operated the Oasis Quick-Lube in Harrison, OH. Before getting involved in drag racing, Randy was an International Show Car Association Champion where he showed cars for 20 years. Once he got involved in racing, he did it with the same zeal and passion he'd shown for the show cars.
Randy is survived by his wife, Robin and two daughters, Carlie & Candace.
In closing, to Randy's friends and family, I'd like to offer the following. It's a letter written by Benjamin Franklin on the occasion of the death of his brother, John. I certainly can't say it any better. Adios Randy, go with God. We'll miss you terribly.
Photos by Bob Wenzelburger
Philadelphia, 23d February, 1756.
I condole with you. We have lost a most dear and valuable relation. But it is the will of God and nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside when the soul is to enter into real life. This is rather an embryo state, a preparation for living. A man is not completely born until he is dead. Why, then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals, a new member added to their happy society?
We are spirits. That bodies should be lent to us while they can afford us pleasure, assist us in acquiring knowledge, or in doing good to our fellow creatures, is a kind and benevolent act of God. When they become unfit for these purposes and afford us pain instead of pleasure, instead of an aid become an encumbrance, and answer none of the intentions for which they were given, it is equally kind and benevolent that a way is provided by which we may get rid of them. Death is that way. We ourselves, in some cases, prudently choose a partial death. A mangled, painful limb which cannot be restored, we willingly cut off. He who plucks out a tooth parts with it freely, since the pain goes with it; and he who quits the whole body parts at once with all pains and possibilities of pains and diseases which it was liable to or capable of making him suffer.
Our friend and we were invited abroad on a party of pleasure which is to last forever. His chair was ready first and he is gone before us. We could not all conveniently start together, and why should you and I be grieved at this, since we are soon to follow and know where to find him? Adieu,