Dr. William Randall “Randy” McKiever peacefully slipped away from this world June 24, 2021.
Randy was born on March 23, 1955 at Drew Memorial Hospital in Monticello, Arkansas to LaNell Sanderlin McKiever and William J. “W.J.” McKiever. He was the eldest child and a charismatic natural born leader.
Randy has been described by family, friends and colleagues as “one of a kind” and “a force of nature.” He loved life and the life force within him was strong.
Randy’s family was important to him from an early age. He was a good son, brother, cousin, friend and father. Even when he became a doctor he always took phone calls immediately from family – parents, siblings and children, despite his heavy patient load and schedule. Randy became a very responsible brother early in life. He was six when his father was called up in the National Guard prompted by the Berlin crisis. Randy would rock his 18 month old sister Leslie every night to help his mother after she had worked a full day in their newly owned pharmacy. He continued being a protective brother to his baby brother Jay. He always included his siblings in his activities with his friends despite their age difference. Summers spent skiing at Lake Chicot were some of their best times despite the occasional mishaps of losing the boat on the trailer, sinking the boat from a forgotten plug and running out of gas.
Randy started his long amateur coaching career early – coaching his sister in baseball when he was about nine and she was four. She started school with one of the best “gloves” in the first grade. When he was twelve, Randy started coaching her for the Olympics. While in high school he coached his brother Jay’s baseball team and later, he coached his kids, Monica, Josh, Jay Randall and Randi in baseball, basketball and softball. He also coached his nephews Andrew and Bradley.
If a kid was lucky enough to be on Randy’s team they soon found that riding with “Doc” was an experience. As his daughter Monica said, “Driving fast on an empty tank was his hobby and he drove every vehicle like he had just stolen it.” One of his best friends, Mike Scott said that he didn’t know who taught Randy how to drive, but they failed, and his cars and trucks were like an “archeological site” of his busy life. A little digging and one would know how many times he had eaten at McDonald’s. No one ever accused Randy McKiever of littering.
Horses were always important on the McKiever side of the family. His grandfather McKiever loved horses and his daddy W.J. loved horses; Randy loved horses. As well as playing basketball, baseball and running track competitively, he also placed in the Arkansas High School Rodeo in Quarter Horse Cutting. He continued to compete in cutting horse shows for many years.
Randy McKiever loved life, and he lived it with energy and gusto. He loved hunting – duck goose, quail, deer, coon and hog. He loved music and he loved to dance. He loved good food, but he really loved his mother, as he was a Mama’s boy until the last breath he drew. Randy was able to take part in all of his hobbies, as his son Josh was there every step of the way to help with horses, dogs, gas and vehicles. From a very early age he became his Daddy’s “right hand man.”
Despite participating in everything under the sun, Randy was a serious and very good student. He used one pencil throughout the first grade and the small stub has his teeth marks capturing all the angst of being a first grader. He went on to become an honor graduate of Monticello High School and he graduated summa cum laude from UAM in 1977 after only three and one-half years with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Randy then went on to attend the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences where he graduated with an M.D. in 1981. He served a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Fla. From 1983-86, he was an emergency room physician at the DeQueen Medical Center before returning to Monticello in 1986 to open McKiever Clinic.
For the next 20 years, Dr. McKiever practiced obstetrics, family medicine and general surgery. He served on the State Board of Health and as a team physician to the UAM football team. Dr. McKiever never forgot his medical roots and still worked a weekly night shift at Drew Memorial emergency room as an attending physician until a brain injury ended his career in 2006. His proudest legacy is the thousands of children he safely delivered into the world.
Randy’s spiritual life was important to him and in 2004 he earned a Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Philosophy in Human Behavior from Trinity Christian University. He enjoyed conducting marriage ceremonies including officiating his daughter Monica’s wedding.
Randy was preceded in death by his father, William J. “W.J.” McKiever and grandparents, George William McKiever and Bessie Lee (Jordan) McKiever and DC Sanderlin and Willie Lee (Shelton) Sanderlin.
He is survived by his mother, La Nell Sanderlin McKiever; children, Monica Lee (Zach), Joshua McKiever, (Amanda), Jay Randall McKiever, Jon Daniel McKiever, Randi McDougald (Alex) and Jeffery Spraggins; sister and brother, Leslie McKiever and Jay Bartley McKiever (Sharon); grandchildren, Slade and Maeme Lee, Addee and William Jett McKiever, William Jase McDougald, and Marley and Mercer Spraggins; nephews and nieces, Andrew and Bradley Bentz, Conner, Cole, and Kendall McKiever, and great-nephew and pal, AJ Bentz.
Randy is also survived by uncles and aunts, DC “Pete” Sanderlin (Glenda), Jimmy Sanderlin (Theresa), Wanda Chester, Connie Sanderlin and Jeanette Sanderlin; and, special cousin Stanley Chester, as well as, a host of cousins, friends and former patients.
The McKiever Family would like to express heartfelt thanks to Dr. Tim Simon and Dr. Silvia Simon for their wonderful care, far beyond their duty, of Randy and his family. Also they have tremendous gratitude to Jerry and Beverly Davis for their loyalty and generosity in sending flowers to Randy every month and holiday for 15 years.
Visitation is Sunday, June 27 at 2 p.m. at Stephenson Dearman Funeral home with the service immediately following at 3 p.m. Burial will be at Union Ridge Cemetery.
Memorials may be given in lieu of flowers to the Dr W.J. McKiever and Dr Wm. R. McKiever Scholarship at the University of Arkansas Monticello, Office of Advancement at (870) 460-1028, P.O. Box 3520 Monticello, AR 71656. When endowed this scholarship will be offered to a junior Pre-Pharmacy or Pre- Medical student at UAM.