WARNER ROBINS -- Walter “Randy” Randall, chairman of the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, was remembered Monday for his gregarious personality and his service to community and country.
He died unexpectedly Saturday from heart disease at age 67, said Houston County Coroner Danny Galpin.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Randall was a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and a senior vice president with PCTI in Macon.
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“He was a great individual,” Houston County Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said. “He was a great patriot. He served his country with pride and dignity. He served his community equally as well.
“He was always trying to help other people, and he wanted the community that he lived in to be a better place to live in, and he always worked to be able to do that.”
It was through the Robins chamber that past chairman Shaw Blackmon said he got to know Randall well.
“Randy was a special guy. He was a friend to everybody. He certainly was a great leader for our chamber and moved us forward,” Blackmon said.
Randall was one of a kind, he said.
“He lit up a room when he came in it, and it was always a good smile. His bad mood was better than a lot of people’s good mood. He was always smiling, always happy, always fun to be around,” Blackmon said.
Randall had served on the chamber's board of directors since 2006, said Morgan Law, chamber president.
“First and foremost, he was a patriot who served our nation and continued to serve this community that he loved.
“He was an incredible proponent of supporting the effort to work regionally between Houston County and Bibb County especially but even beyond that,” Law said. “That was a passion of his.
“It's hard for us to even fathom that he's gone. I had two events with him Thursday afternoon, and he was Randy. He was having a wonderful time.”
Randall had a gregarious personality, Law said.
“Everybody enjoyed being with him, listening to his stories,” Law said. “I believe he enjoyed his service as the chairman here especially with the opportunity to support the troops. Those military affairs programs that we have here seemed to be some of his favorites.”
Law added, “He will certainly be missed that goes without saying.”
Mike Dyer, president of the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, echoed those remarks.
“Randy is just a wonderful guy, a really good friend, someone I'm going to miss a lot. He was a great partner to have to work with representing the Robins chamber as the chairperson," Dyer said.
"Randall always thought regionally and knew the importance of regionalism versus each one of the counties kind of standing on their own. He always pushed for regional cooperation.”
Retired Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon, formerly of the 21st Century Partnership, said he had “tremendous respect” for Randall.
“He was a driving force for regionalism,” McMahon said. “He had a broad perspective, and obviously he cared about Warner Robins, Robins Air Force Base, but he also understood the importance of taking a regional approach.
“So what you saw with Randy was his engagement in not only Warner Robins issues and Robins Air Force Base issues but Middle Georgia issues. And that’s important as we continue to try to be the very best region that we can. I know a lot of folks throughout the region looked up to him for that broad perspective that he carried.”
Randall was a member of the Rotary Club of Warner Robins. He was also heavily involved in the Museum of Aviation, the Tuskegee Airmen and a number of other organizations, said Art MacDonald, past Rotary Club president.
He recalled a fond memory of ringing the Salvation Army red kettle bell at Christmas with Randall and swapping stories.
“He was just a respected and well-liked person who walked the talk,” MacDonald said. “He was involved in things and made a difference.”
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.