John K. RandallSeptember 5, 1932 ~ June 25, 2017 (age 84)
When friends try to describe John, the repetitive theme is “respected”. To his family, he was our ROCK. John Kelly Randall left us to join our heavenly Father on June 25, 2017. John was the second child of Lawn and Marion Randall. He was born on September 5th 1932. This was the same month that his parents bought what would eventually be the home farm on East Balsam Lake some eleven years later. John enjoyed school and athletics, played all sports, football, baseball and basketball. After graduating from Balsam Lake High School, Uncle Sam sent him to Korea. He never talked much about war, but fondly remembered the strong bonds of friendship. John froze his feet while serving in the regular army 3rd Division HQ 7th Regiment Sergeant 1st class CIB, this injury continued to plague him throughout his life.
After John was honorably discharged, he used the GI bill to attend University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He graduated with a double major in Applied Sciences. This is where he met his wife and lifelong partner Ann Eitland. They married August 5th 1956.
The young couple started life in central Wisconsin with John working as a veterinarian supply salesman. With the beginning of their family and Lawn’s declining health the couple returned to the farm east of Balsam Lake.
As in Paul Harvey’s, “So He made a Farmer”, John was a true steward of the land. He was an active member in numerous aspects of the farm and dairy industry. He was a board member of the Range Creamery. Shortly after changing milk companies, John and Ann were honored as “Young Dairy Couple of the Year” by MidAmerican Dairy. He helped support the farming profession through the UW extension and was one of the first to adopt many new programs. He also held the title of Director of the PCA and was involved with Farm Credit. The farm was always on display and visited by many groups including field trips for grade school classes, tours from foreign dignitaries, and Day on the Farm with Wisconsin Governor, where 400 people were served a sit-down meal.
Family was always the main focus of John’s life. He believed that education should be the foundation to his children’s success and life achievements. This lead to John serving 17 years on the Unity School board, he was also a member of CESA and various other national education committees. John and Ann were 4H leaders and active supporters of bible camp for many years. Some of John’s fondest memories were the family vacations spent with Ann, his children, grandchildren and extended family members.
Church and Country were also a lifelong devotion. John served as a board member of both Faith Lutheran and Holy Trinity Churches and spent time as Commander of Post 278 Legion, VFW and honor guard. Anyone that ever needed an listening ear, a sounding board or some genuine words of advice were welcome to join him as coffee and ice cream were being served at the house.
Though John “tried” to retire from farming when his son took the lead, you can say farming was in the blood. Even 4 days before his passing he wanted to take a drive by the fields, “just to check on things”.
John was preceded in death by his parents, infant son, four brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law. He is survived by his wife of almost 61 years, Ann Randall. Children: Faith (Ron) Goodroad, David Randall, Joy Randall and Gay Randall. The light of his life, grandchildren: Jason (Nicole) Randall, Matthew (Amber Schalke) Randall, Justin (Danielle Brust) Randall, Talena (Mike) Davis and Jahnna Randall. The hope of tomorrow, great-grandchildren: Raegan & Alex Davis, Jasmine & Jadynn Randall, Sawyer & Gideon Randall. Newest great-granddaughter: coming in September. Also, sisters Georgette Murphy and Marilyn (Paul) Score. Sister-in-law: Marilyn Jacobson.
For how much John gave to his family and friends, it was all of us that were blessed to have him in our lives. He was kind, honest and lead by example. Always believing in people’s abilities that they themselves did not believe they had. John’s last words were, “Remember to always SMILE”.
A Memorial Service for John will be held on July 6, 2017 at 11:00 A.M. at Holy Trinity United Methodist Church. John’s family will greet visitors at the Kolstad Family Funeral Home in Centuria on Wednesday, July 5, from 4:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. and then at the church on Thursday from 10:00 A.M. until the time of service.
Following the service Military Honors will be rendered at the church. The family invites their guests to join them inside the church for lunch and continued fellowship following the Military Honors. John will be laid to rest at the Balsam Lake Cemetery with a private ceremony.