Dempsey Randolph “Randy” McDonald, Jr., 71 of Monticello, passed away on November 14, 2019 at his home.
He was born on December 2, 1947 at Monticello. He was preceded in death by his wife, Shirley Fullbright McDonald, and his father, Dempsey Randolph McDonald, Sr.
A Hamburg native, Mr. McDonald was the eldest of four children and spent his childhood summers working on Andy Johnson’s rice farm. His family recalls fondly that he would drive a tractor home for lunch every day to watch As the World Turns. In 1967 he enlisted in the Navy and served as an electrician on the USS Pocono until 1971. He often regaled his grandchildren with stories of docking in Greece and sailing through the Bermuda Triangle to deliver supplies and troops to Vietnam.
After his service he attended classes at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He worked as a Computer Systems Analyst at Burlington Industries for thirty-three years, where he met his beloved wife, Shirley, and countless life-long friends. Former colleagues recall his smile and sense of humor, as well as his dedication to his work.
He was an active supporter of Monticello High School, working in the concession stand during football season all nine years his daughters marched in the band. Mr. McDonald was a nurturing and loving father. He never missed a school function for his children or grandchildren. He loved nature and was a great outdoorsman; he taught his children and grandchildren to identify plants and animal tracks, and owned an impressive collection of walking sticks.
Mr. McDonald was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church, where he volunteered in the food pantry and worked on multiple committees. He loved his extended church family, who helped him stay positive during his long illness.
Throughout his illness, Mr. McDonald maintained his patience and sense of humor. He was a man of grace and kindness. He never met a stranger. He loved freely and with the whole of his heart. He will be missed greatly by the many lives he touched, including those of his great-grandchildren, who brought him so much joy towards the end of his life.
Survivors include two daughters, Christie McDonald of Monticello and Cindy McDonald Bearden of Gulfport, Mississippi; his mother, Alyce McClerkin McDonald of Hamburg; two brothers, Jack McDonald and wife Debbie and James McDonald and wife Becky both of Hamburg; one sister, Susan Stanley and husband Mike of Hamburg; two granddaughters, Alannah Hensley of Washington D.C. and Madison Daniels of Monticello; one grandson, Gabriel McDonald of Monticello; one great-granddaughter, Eden Faulkner; and one great-grandson, Holden Faulkner.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, November 19 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home in Monticello.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, November 20, at 2 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial with military honors will follow at Oakland Cemetery in Monticello.
The family asks any charitable contributions be made to:
Fresenius Medical Care Foundation
P O Box 789236
Philadelphia, PA 19178