Ova Ray Randolph departed this life surrounded by family on December 2, 2014, at CAMC Hospital, Charleston. He spent one week in ICU due to heart failure and pneumonia, complicated by dementia. He was 84 years old.
Ray was born to Tommy and Dessie Casto Randolph in Kenna on March 20, 1930. He attended Ripley schools and worked for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O, Chessie System, CSX) from 1952 until his retirement in 1988. He was an Agent and Operator at railroad stations throughout West Virginia, including Ripley, Ravenswood, Spencer, Point Pleasant, Benwood Junction, Fairmont and others. He was known as "Randy" to his co-workers.
Ray married Doris Long in 1949 and just celebrated their 65th anniversary last month at home with all their children and grandchildren. He was a devoted family man and loved any occasion that included cake.
He lived a simple, happy life. He provided for his family well in many ways. He was our guy for driving teacher, car mechanic, baby sitter, purse-holder and taxi service for all. He told great stories, like the turkey roundup and drive to Charleston for some spending money, as well as many other adventures on the family farm.
After his retirement, he enjoyed walking in the park, puttering around the house or sitting on the front porch taking in the view. He loved the beauty of nature and was constantly pointing out a deer or other creature that he so easily spotted to his children. He derived great pleasure by playing his harmonica to Johnny Cash songs or making up his own tunes to entertain family and friends. He sometimes had accompaniment by his great-grandson, Kaiden. He always enjoyed comedy TV and liked to share his laughter watching The Red Green Show. Always quick with a humorous quip or rhyme, his kids share his wonderful sense of humor.
Ray was a hard worker and instilled in his family a love of trains and train travel. Vacations were by train to Washington, DC for culture, Delaware to visit family and twice to California to visit his daughter. He was proud that he could say he had the chance to step into both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. But he was happy being home again.
He liked simple pleasures like homemade ice cream, simple meals with spaghetti and peanut butter sandwiches ranking high.
Ray is survived by his devoted wife Doris; children Vicki (Ed) Cunniffe of Pleasanton, CA, Steven and Kevin, and Sheila (Larry) Lokant, all of Ripley. He is also survived by a sister, Gaye (Roy) Canterbury of Louden, TN and brother Ronald (Jean) and sister- in-law Arline Randolph of Ripley, 5 grandchildren; Justin, Brooke and Jillian Randolph all of Ripley, Ryan and Caitlin Lokant of Morgantown, great -grandchild Kaiden Randolph, as well as 3 step-grandchildren in California and Madrid, Spain, and 6 step-great grandchildren in California. He also leaves several treasured nieces and nephews. Special family friend Beverly Douglas Lawson. He will be greatly missed by all.
He was preceded in death by his parents Tommy and Dessie Casto Randolph; brother Delton Randolph.
Services will be 2 pm Saturday, December 6 at Epworth United Methodist Church, 299 No Church St, Ripley. Interment at Pine Hill Cemetery. Visitation from noon to 2 PM at the Church. Refreshments and a celebration of Ray's life will be held at the Church hall following the committal service at the cemetery.
So to honor Ray's memory, eat a nice plate of spaghetti or a PB&J sandwich and top off with some peanut butter fudge. Or please consider donations in honor of Ray Randolph to the Alzheimer's Association at National Office, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601, or to the Epworth United Methodist Church Memorial Fund , 299 N. Church Street, Ripley, WV 25271 in lieu of flowersof flowers.