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Life Story / Obituary
As his family and friends can attest, Randolph McCarthy had an adventurous spirit that was insatiable. He worked hard, but he played hard too, and things were only made better when they were shared with the ones he loved. Randy made no secret of the fact that he was married to the love of his life, and together they witnessed their family grow to include the grandchildren they adored. He was the type of person who didn’t shy away from trying new things, and his heart beat to ﬁght for those who often don’t have a voice of their own. Life will never be the same without Randy here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
Life during the 1930s brought America some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the trials of the Great Depression. There were few families who didn’t feel the strain, which left cities, communities, and families to come together to weather the storm in whatever way they could. Despite the challenges around them, Randolph, Sr. and Pauline (Burns) McCarthy were ﬁlled with great joy as they welcomed the baby boy they named Randolph Jr. on July 17, 1934, in New York City, New York. He was the older of four children and was raised in both Pennsylvania and New York as his parents tried farming several times. Randy attended local schools including Long Island High School where he sang in the glee club. Singing in a boy’s choir sparked his love for music and the arts. Randy even had the lead role in a musical. He was an avid reader throughout his life.
As a young man Randy enlisted in the Air Force with aspirations of having a career as a pilot. However, his eyesight kept him from being a pilot so he ended up becoming a navigator. Randy completed his training in Texas and went on to serve for four years.
New and exciting changes were in store for Randy when he met the love of his life. Her name was Carol Roberts, and they met on a blind date while in college. Sparks ﬂew right from the start despite the fact that he was “too short” since he was only 5’11’”while she was 5’8.” They talked and talked that ﬁrst night, and it wasn't long before the couple found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together they were married on August 22, 1959, exactly one year to the date after their ﬁrst date. Randy graduated and then got a job selling books and transferred to Kalamazoo. Carol was not happy about leaving New York. Randy was actually a great salesman, but he didn’t like the feeling of selling so he went back to school at Ohio State to become an attorney. He worked full time at the newspaper while attending school full time.
Randy and Carol began growing their family that included three children, Randy III, Kelly, and Bridget. When back in Kalamazoo, Randy worked at a big law ﬁrm for years but then he started his own ﬁrm and became a reputable trial and litigation lawyer. Randy had a fantastic memory and was very methodical. This allowed him to remember names and all the details of the cases, and he was a one-man show for years before growing his successful practice into a several lawyer ﬁrm in Oshtemo. Randy was an old fashioned, hardworking lawyer who never billed per hour but only if he won a case. He was a great listener and believed in the underdog, even working for free at times. Randy never gave up on people, even successfully trying a case in the Michigan Supreme Court to change the state law for one of his clients.
Although he enjoyed his work, there was never anything of greater importance in Randy’s life than his family. They lived in a typical sixties household. He liked cooking, and on Sunday morning breakfast Randy was usually trying new things. They also frequented nice restaurants and took family trips, beginning with a tent. Randy still had a little farmer in him and one summer planted 40 tomato plants. He made wine and canned as he was very frugal minded. In fact, Randy always ate the entire apple and even took the mold oﬀ of bread.
Throughout his life Randy was a man of many interests. He loved the arts and encouraged his children to appreciate them as well. Randy especially enjoyed the Kalamazoo Symphony. He and his wife both loved to travel, and their travels took them all over the world, even to third world countries. While there, Randy wanted to get to know the people and learn more about their culture. Randy and his wife took their camper to Alaska and Canada as he was super adventurous and always looked forward to the next adventure. They also both loved being warm, so for 20 years they wintered in Naples. Randy had a great group of friends there and loved things like playing cards, taking walks, and seeing shows and musicals. They also loved dancing, and Randy exercised every morning. Among his other interests were both snow and water skiing, playing tennis, and reading. When he was 80, Randy went to Cedar Point as they also traveled all over riding all kinds of big roller coasters. An avid reader, he always had a good book. A true liberal, Randy supported his local Democratic party. He loved technology, although he couldn’t really manage it or get it set up on his own.
All who knew Randy McCarthy would agree that he was truly extraordinary. He loved helping people and was overly generous with a desire to make an impact on those around him. Randy was an honest and hardworking man who believed in using his time, talents, and resources to ﬁght for the people and causes he was passionate about. He could be a bit rough on the outside, but inside he had a heart of gold. Randy loved showering his wife with gifts and unending aﬀection, and he was an amazing father and role model to his children and grandchildren. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.