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Gary Randall, age 69, of Madison, died Saturday, November 17, 2018, at his residence. Memorial services will be 1:30 PM, Wednesday, November 21, 2018, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison. The family will be present for visitation 5-7 PM Tuesday with a prayer service at 7 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Gary Randall was born in Madison SD on August 10, 1949 to Durward and Margie (Oines) Randall. He was the middle child in the family with Dianne and Dean being older and Pamela and Brenda, younger. He was raised in the Madison Community and it was always home to him. He was baptized at Trinity Lutheran Church as an infant. At age 11, during a televised Billy Graham crusade, he asked Jesus into his heart and he said he was never the same ever since. As a teenager he confirmed that faith at Trinity Lutheran and has walked in it ever since.
He started teaching himself to play guitar at age 11 and spent his life perfecting this skill. He is known and loved for his beautiful music. He graduated from Madison High School in 1967 and attended DSU. In 1970 he and Jay Nielson went to Minneapolis and his music career was officially launched as the house band for Arthur’s Four Seasons and The Flame.
In 1971 he returned to Madison and married his high school sweetheart Deborah Pearson on July 14, 1971. After brief moves to St. Cloud, MN for sales and Salem, SD for owning and operating The Front Porch Flower Shop, they raised their three sons in the Madison Community as well. Gary continued his music career throughout his life playing with other musicians in bands and as a solo artist primarily in this region. He always enjoyed the nostalgia of performing the “golden oldies” and delighted is seeing and encouraging other aspiring musicians.
In 1991 Gary completed the first of four original gospel CDs including one of wedding music written specifically for loved ones when he sang for their weddings. His original gospel music launched a 27-year career performing gospel concerts nationwide with invitations from Alaska to Houston, TX, from Washington State to Florida. His music soothed the soul. The friendships and bonds he formed were near and dear to his heart.
He enjoyed the great outdoors, recreational biking and tennis. He loved hunting, fishing, hiking and camping in the Black Hills with his kids and lifelong friends. He loved the “open door policy” established in their home when the boys were growing up. Countless friends of theirs hung out for conversation, food and fun. These relationships carried over into their adult lives giving such richness and blessing to him.
The legacy he leaves behind is one of investment of time in others’ lives, making someone’s day better and encouraging them to walk with Christ as their Lord and Savior. Nothing was more important to him. Even a quick trip to the grocery store could sometimes take an hour.
In April 2018 he was inducted into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for Lifetime Acheivement. He felt honored to be recognized among so many great artists.
He delighted in his grandchildren and every young child. Spending time chasing and playing on playgrounds, watching them in sports, and singing with them -- sometimes with both a grandchild and a guitar in his lap at the same time.
Forever grateful to have shared his life are his wife Debbie of Madison; three sons, Jason (Coral) Randall, their children Conner and Brenna of Franklin, TN; Troy (Karissa) and their daughters Ashlynn and Charlotte of Madison; Chad (Amber) and their children Asher, Evangeline. Sage and Cyrus of Nashville, TN; three sisters; Dianne(Dick) Plahn of Spicer, MN, Pamela (Wayne) Hetland of Gilbert, AZ and Brenda Grimm of Baltic; sister-in-law Tammy Randall of Sioux Falls; brother-in-law Jeff (Paula) Pearson of Madison, sister-in-law Susette Randall of Sioux Falls; and extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and countless friends too numerous to name. He held them all in highest regard.
He was preceded in death by his parents Durward and Margie Randall, his brother Dean Randall, and Debbie’s parents Maynard and Mildred Pearson.
He will be greatly missed but his legacy of love and music will live on forever.