Uncle Mike was a full time musician and Aunt’s Rachael dedicated herself fully to caring for Eli. We have no money for funeral expenses or for long term care and comfort to Isaiah. Anything at all helps. ♥️
The words below are written by Aunt Rach and Uncle Mike’s niece Addisun.
“My heart is so broken. I woke up this morning hoping it was all just nightmare - and then reality hit me in the face again.
My Aunt Rach grew up in Mcloud, OK. She is the youngest of 4 siblings - and my mom's (Hanna Lee Starcher) only sister. My Aunt is a LOYAL friend and has the same friends today as she did back in high school. As a young, single, mom - my Aunt proudly worked at Bancfirst in Mcloud. She also worked at the local Telephone Co. Later she would become a Secretary for Casady School. More recently she received her Surgical Technologist Certificate and had worked at a few different hospitals across the metro. Words to describe my Aunt would be: PASSIONATE, EMPATHETIC, SENSITIVE, & LOVING. She lit the room with her giggles and affectionate hugs.
My Uncle Mike is known across Oklahoma as an extremely talented drummer and musician. He has worked at Life.Church for MANY years, taught music at Casady School, played in a local band Aranda, and been a regular at The Jazzlab in Edmond. His family has an amazing backstory as well - his parent's met in Japan and moved to the U.S. when my Uncle Mike was 6 years old! Words to describe my Uncle would be: THOUGHTFUL, PATIENT, KIND, & FUNNY
My dad (Trentand Keri Austin) has been friends with my Uncle Mike since before my Aunt met him. In fact, my mom is the one that arranged their "set-up".
When my Uncle Mike fell in love with my Aunt Rachael - he also fell in love with her 4 yr old little girl too (Ashten). He adopted her and loved her as his OWN. My cousin Ashten unfortunately didn't have a father figure in her life at that time because her biological father was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was just a couple of years old and unable to be present for her. My Uncle Mike became that father figure for her through his unconditional love for HIS baby girl.
After a whirlwind romance - my Aunt & Uncle married and had 2 more children. Their precious little boys - Eli & Isaiah.
Eli has been dealing with schizophrenia since the tender age of 14 years old. His day to day life can be filled with terror and fright. My Aunt & Uncle strived to ensure he always felt loved and also strived their best to calm his fears and make sure he felt protected and safe.
Aside from this terrible disease that consumed their loving son - My Aunt & Uncle had a lot to look forward to this year and never lost hope that Eli could be saved from his illness. My cousin Isaiah is currently in his Junior year of high school. He is 17 and full of life. He is literally the life at any family gathering we have. Like my Aunt, he is full of hugs and giggles all the time. His newest passion is carpentry and woodworking and my Aunt just LOVED bragging on his creations. My cousin Ashten is 25 and pregnant with her first baby - due in June! My Aunt & Uncle were SO excited to become grandparents this year.
On Sunday night at 2am - my cousin Isaiah had to witness something inconceivable. My Aunt Rachael & Uncle Michael left this Earth trying to save their son Eli from his disease. My cousin Isaiah is now orphaned and my cousin Ashten will be going into labor without her mother beside her to guide her. My grandparents will have to witness the burial of their baby girl. and my cousin Eli - who likely has NO idea what he has actually done (his hallucinations could have caused him to see/hear ANYTHING that night), is all alone in Oklahoma County Jail.
My family needs PRAYERS: We came together all day yesterday to hold each other and cry and today we will meet again to discuss how we will move forward. I pray that we stay UNIFIED during this tragedy and that there will be no strife or division among us. I pray that we are able to provide Ashten & Eli & Isaiah with immense LOVE & care....just as their parents provided them while here on this Earth. I pray that that the hate and assumptions on social media will STOP - for the sake of our family. I pray that the community will come together to help us through this dark time - as we are much too overwhelmed to take this burden alone.
My sister has set up the GoFundMe page below to help with my Aunt & Uncle's joint funeral costs and as well as costs for their 3 children. Anything you can give helps - and if you are unable to give, please share the link to help spread the word.”