Life Story / Obituary
Loving and kind, Randall “Randy” Jay Van Singel was a man who enjoyed the simple things in life. He was easily contented by the company of family and good friends, the satisfaction of a good meal, and the comforts of good music. A humble man, he welcomed each day as a gift and each person as a friend. Randy was the best listener, and folks felt at ease with him. Loved and revered, Randy will be dearly held in the hearts and lives of those he loved.
Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression,1934 gave birth to many celebrated firsts. Flash Gordon made his debut while Fuji Photo Film was established. The Three Stooges took center stage in their first short while the nation first met Donald Duck. The year marked the turning point in the Great Depression as the rays of Hope peeked through the clouds of despair in America when unemployment decreased to 22%. Nowhere was there a greater sense of hope than Grand Rapids, Michigan as Leon and Helen (Boonstra) Van Singel welcomed their son Randy into their hearts and home on August 1.
Growing up on the northwest side of Grand Rapids during the 30s and 40s, Randy’s early years formed the firm foundation upon which he built the rest of his life. While his father provided for the family through work as a truck driver and carpenter, his mother was a homemaker. Along with his older brother, Robert, Randy learned the values of hard work and resourcefulness from his parents.
Randy attended Union High School through 9th grade. With a willingness to serve his country, at the age of 19, he joined the Army. For two years, he worked as a lifeguard at West Point, Indiana.
In time, Randy met and married Glenda Murlington. Though their marriage did not last, Randy was blessed by the four children he and Glenda shared. Randy, Ricky, Robby, and Renee were his heart’s delight. Like his father before him, Randy provided for his family by working as a truck driver at Ackerman Electric and as a carpenter.
During the early 80s, life afforded Randy the good fortune of meeting Edith Perdue at Our Tavern on the northwest side of Grand Rapids. The pair were soon a couple setting their eyes on a future spent in one another’s good company. Well partnered, they stayed together for the next 37 years--the rest of Randy’s life.
At the age of 50, Randy decided he didn’t want to work anymore. He unceremoniously “retired” and easily settled into a quieter pace. In 1995, he and Edith moved up to Chase, Michigan, to live in the woods. There, Randy enjoyed the simple things that brought him pleasure like deer hunting, trips to Little River Casino, hamburger soup, candy bars, and a cold beer. Randy enjoyed country music and the tunes of Gaithers. As far as watching TV went, he mostly enjoyed watching M.A.S.H., Everybody Loves Raymond, and Two and a Half Men. He and Edith also liked to scratch lottery tickets together.
On October 14, Randy died in the comforts of his home after suffering from Parkinson’s disease. While life feels uncertain in the absence of Randy’s steadfast presence, may we find comfort in knowing that he is free of the constraints the disease imposed. May we also find comfort in knowing we carry his legacy forward. With each quiet moment we spend in the woods, cold brew we savor, and time we share with our beloved, we celebrate the many ways Randy gifted us. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he inspired us.
Mr. Randall J. Van Singel, age 85, of Chase, passed away on October 14, 2019. He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Van Singel. Randy is survived by his significant other, Edith Perdue; children, Randy (Joni) Van Singel, Ricky Van Singel, Renee Shukis, Mark Taylor, and Andy Perdue; grandchildren, Kyle and Shelby; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Marcus, and Elijah; and niece, Marcia Veenstra. A memorial service will take place at 1 PM on Monday, October 21, 2019, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids. Visitation will take place from noon until the time of the service. Contributions in his memory may be made to the charity of one’s choice. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Randy’s life story, submit a favorite memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook online.