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The family requests no flowers
Life Story / Obituary
Vibrant, hilarious, and always up for a good time, Justin Storey was a free spirit who lived every moment he was given as a gift to be treasured. With a heart that knew neither stranger nor enemy, Justin never hesitated to extend a warm welcome or lend a hand to a person in need. Justin loved children, animals, and the simple pleasures of being outdoors with those he loved. Magnetic, gregarious, and loving, in so many ways, Justin's spirit was larger than life. Cherished son, brother, and friend, Justin's bright light will continue to burn brightly in the hearts of those he so deeply loved.
The 90s was a decade of much good news and astounding new achievement including the collapse of The Soviet Empire, the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia ended and China reformed its economy. The quality of entertainment dramatically improved and creative brilliance shined in our homes in the likes of Harry Potter, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Friends, and NYPD Blue. Pixar resurrected animation with Toy Story while the digital age boomed with the mainstreaming of the Internet, digital phones, 3D games, and affordable laptops. Peace and Prosperity were the order of the day, and America was vibrant and healthy. Locally, life’s good fortunes shined especially brightly for Tom and Jennifer Storey as they welcomed their son Justin into their hearts and home on March 27, 1997, at Borgess Hospital.
Growing up in the rural communities of Vicksburg and Scotts, Michigan, Justin was born with a love for the outdoors and an innate need to move. He loved nothing more than playing outside and getting as dirty as he possibly could. With a gift for gab, he was constantly talking and was a class clown from his first days in school. Spunky, spirited, and sneaky, Justin always had a ready smile and an enthusiastic “yes” for any adventure. As a youth played rocket football which he continued to play through middle and high school. He also ran track and cross country. While a picky eater, Justin was never picky when it came to people; he truly loved them all!
Justin was especially close to his family. One of four boys, Justin grew up in a home that was in constant motion. With older brothers, Jesse and Tommy, and younger brother, Trevor, there was always an opportunity for adventure and a good time waiting to be had. As the boys grew older, Justin and Tommy spent more and more time together. Justin was always willing to help Tommy with yard work, and the two lived together in recent years. An awesome big brother, Justin loved picking Trevor up and spending the weekend together binge eating junk food and playing video games all night.
Though Justin was always up for a good time, he also loved the satisfaction of hard work. After graduating from Vicksburg High School, he began working in final assembly on trim presses at Metal Mechanics in Schoolcraft. Dependable, consistently pleasant, and committed to his work, Justin was well respected by his co-workers and employers and often traveled with work to complete an assembly on-site. With high expectations of himself and an unwavering work ethic, Justin proved a valuable asset to the entire Metal Mechanics team.
When not working, Justin preferred to be outdoors. He spent every spare moment he could fishing, kayaking, and playing disc golf. In the evenings he could often be found watching football with his buddies at Main St. Pub, Mulligan’s or Walt’s where his cheers were often the loudest. The Detroit Lions and the University of Michigan Wolverines had a formidable fan in Justin. The family’s new property up north proved a place of many treasured memories. Justin loved riding the trails and gathering around the bonfires with his friends and family.
Ask anyone who knew him and they will tell you that Justin lit up every room he entered. His presence ensured lightness, laughter and a good time for all. They will also tell you that once Justin welcomed you into his heart, he would hold you there forever. There was little anyone could do to shake his love and loyalty. For several years during high school and after, he dated Kaiti Mein. Even after they broke up, they remained close friends.
For all who were lucky to share time with Justin, it is easy to recognize the many ways life was richer for his good company. Oh, the places Justin took others! Trails and waters were explored, rules broken, epic games played, and bags of chips devoured at 4 am. Smiles were easily shared, strangers were friends who just needed to be met, and generosity became simple and easy. Lines were cast, tasks completed, hugs received, and epic bouts of laughter shared. Simply put, Justin gifted each of us with a view of the world that we could not have imagined on our own. He saw love and laughter in every aspect of life and in so doing, taught each of us to do so as well.
Clearly, Justin's departure leaves us stunned and short of breath. While it impossible to imagine life without his powerful presence, may we find comfort in our many sweet memories of the young man we were privileged to know. Though our days with Justin were far too few, we will find courage in carrying his legacy of embracing each person and each day as a gift forward. With every kindness we extend to another, levity we bring to the day, Johnny Cash song we sing along to, and child we enthusiastically share time with, we keep Justin’s spirit alive in our hearts and lives where it will continue to ripple out and inspire others as he so inspired us.
Justin Storey of Scotts, MI passed away on December 2, 2018 at the age of 21. Justin is survived by his parents: Thomas and Jennifer Storey; brothers: Jesse, Tommy, and Trevor Storey; grandparents: Naomi (Howard) Storey-Barnes, Joseph (Carmen) Morrow, and Lenora (Michael) Storey; and several aunts, uncles and cousins. Justin is preceded in death by his two great grandmothers: Imogene Herrington and Mary Ann Nichols. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2019 at 11am at the Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene Vicksburg, MI (269-649-2392). The family will greet friends at the service and an hour prior to the service from 10-11am.
Please visit Justin’s webpage at www.mccowensecord.com to share a photo or memory, sign the guest book, and read his life story. In lieu of flowers, the family ask donations be made to the Kalamazoo Humane Society or Gryphon Place.