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The Searcey Family: Living by a Code "Love God, Serve People!"

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11/01/2010 - By Gayle Irwin

Paul, Nancy and Nathan Searcey live by a special code: to love God and serve people. All three believe in and abide by that code, serving their community, their church, and their employers.

Paul moved to Casper in 1980, after graduating college and accepting the job of music teacher at what was East Junior High School. He continues to serve the students of Casper in nearly the same location, as choir and show choir director at Casper Classical Academy and Frontier Middle School. Additionally, he works with students at Park Elementary School, teaching general music twice a week.

He and Nancy married in 1989. They met while she was working at Hill Music. Nancy, a Wyoming native, now works as a secretary at Kelly Walsh High School, where their son, Nathan, is a sophomore.

In addition to serving their community in their occupations, the Searceys are a strong musical family. Nathan is involved with three choirs at KW, plays trombone and percussion, and is involved with the youth worship team at Highland Park Community Church. Nathan also enjoys drama and had a part in KW's musical performance of "Grease". (He does all this while maintaining a 4.0 GPA!) Nancy and Paul both play hand bells at HPCC; Nancy has been playing bells since she was a teenager, and Paul often creates new arrangements of hymns for the bell choir. He is also involved with the adult worship team at Highland. Music and faith are integral parts of the fabric that weaves this close-knit family. "I like to volunteer at church," Nathan says. Nathan also volunteers at the Central Wyoming Rescue Mission, serving in the kitchen and he works part-time at Papa Murphy's Pizza. He believes he learns valuable lessons at both locations. "Serving at the Mission improves my work at Papa Murphy's," Nathan explains, "and I enjoy helping at the Mission, serving others. I learn a lot there, too."

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That servant-attitude is another strong thread knitted into the Searcey family. Paul helps install sound systems in churches within the community, and Nancy participates in Evening in the Word Bible studies and in a community book club.

Paul credits Nancy with holding the fabric of the family's life together. "Nathan and I couldn't do all we do without Nancy and her wonderful organizational skills," he says. Her organizational ability, their mutual interest and talents for music, and their strong faith have woven together for decades; the couple celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary this summer.

Paul stepped into his 31st year of teaching this year and doesn't consider a career change any time soon.

"I love the kids," he says. "They change constantly, and I love that. I'm a lot like them."

"He's weird enough to fit in!" Nancy chimes in.

The constant in their lives, besides one another, is God. Paul believes he was meant to come to Casper. The Oklahoma-born Paul says, "It was a God-thing."

He intended to work as a high school choir teacher, but he heard God say, "junior high". When he interviewed for the position of vocal music instructor with the Natrona County School District 31 years ago, he didn't know what school or grade level for which he was interviewing, and upon being offered the position, Paul found out it was for East Junior High School.

Another constant in the Searcey's lives is their home; they have lived in the same neighborhood for many years. "We are one of the longest residents in the neighborhood," Paul says.

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They all agree their neighborhood and community are special places to live. The Searceys and their beloved Lab/Golden named Shotgun (he likes to ride in the passenger's seat of the truck!) plan to make Casper their home for years to come.

"This is a great place to raise a family," Paul states.

"It's beautiful here," Nancy adds.

Son Nathan agrees. "I like being near the mountains. There's no smog (in Casper) like in big cities. It's peaceful, and you can think clearly here."

Like a warm quilt in winter, the tapestry of the Searcey family pieces together music, faith, community, and family, enriching the fabric of their lives and those of others in Casper with comfort and caring.

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