A Life Well Lived.

I received notice this morning that a member of my family passed away only a few days ago. To say it lightly, she was an amazing woman. I always looked forward to seeing her, whether it was me visiting her in Florida or her flying up to Seattle. She was so full of life and a true joy to be around.

And while it may be sad in the here and now that she has left us, I rest in the knowledge that I will see her once again, just not on this side of life. I know she is with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ There she waits, worshiping alongside other believers that have gone on before her. It is there that I will see her again one day. I look forward to that day!

Nelda Murphy Randall died January 10, 2012, at Good Shepherd Hospice in Sebring, Florida, after a long illness. Born May 29, 1920, in Oakdale, Allen Parish, Louisiana, she was the daughter of Duncan A. Murphy and Pearl Alford Murphy. She was predeceased by her parents, her husband, John J. Randall, and her brothers, Charles A. Murphy and Paul C. Murphy. Nelda was survived by her daughter, Katherine Randall Park (husband James) of Lexington, Kentucky, her son Will S. Randall (wife Kathleen) of Sebring Florida, her grandson W. S. Randall, II, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, a brother, Thomas Murphy of Southaven, Mississippi, numerous nieces and nephews, and Jim’s three children.

Nelda was a graduate of the University of Texas (Austin) in Chemistry, and she was admitted to the institution’s Medical School. However, she married John Randall in 1941 after he accepted employment as an Eastern Air Lines pilot, thus meeting her precondition to marriage that he be gainfully employed. Together, they traveled the world. Nelda was a great “Crew Chief” when John piloted sailplanes throughout the United States. She learned to fly well enough to land an airplane in an emergency, but her husband and son were glad that her skills were never tested.

Nelda had a great sense of fun.  When John was on trips for Eastern, Nelda would read books to Kay and Will and then take them to the cafeteria (which John did not like) where Will would get three different kinds of potatoes and Kay, a few desserts.  She dressed as a gypsy fortune teller to give out candy and tell fortunes on Halloween.  At Easter, she hid dollar bills (not eggs) around the house for Kay and Will to find.  On Kay’s first trip to Europe at 15, Nelda could not believe Kay wanted Coke not wine. 

Nelda was a master gardener with a broad knowledge of tropical plants. At age ninety, she went on a vigorous garden tour of South Africa sponsored by the Desert Botanical Garden of Phoenix, Arizona, which she thoroughly enjoyed. She was a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Sebring, the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, the Epiphyllum Society of America, the Center for Great Apes, and National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a great reader of books (fiction, biography, books on plants and cookbooks) and newspapers (Wall Street Journal and New York Times).”



2 thoughts on “A Life Well Lived.

  1. Life goes by so very fast on this side. Not having lived in Florida for the past 20 years, I didn’t know John and Nelda had passed away until I read Nelda’s eulogy today. So many wonderful things could be said about Nelda, about John and Nelda together, and about their legacy through Will and Kathy. Certainly some of the best memories of my life will always be about flying gliders in Florida and being there on-the-scene with the Randalls. I remember John as a superb pilot and inspiring personality and Nelda as being kind and gracious, a great sport, fun-loving and beautiful both inside and out. I don’t expect those quality days in my life to be surpassed until I find myself walking on the streets of gold. (John 3:16)

    • Thank you so much for your reply! It’s an honor that this came up when you searched. They were amazing people indeed and I have great memories of both of them. They will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of the people that loved them.

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