Earle Darwood Randall Obituary

Earle Darwood Randall

Earle Darwood Randall, age 94, of Barton, Vt., died peacefully in his home on May 31, 2022, after a brief illness.

He was predeceased by his parents George and Lenna (Roberts) Randall, his foster parents Gordon and Mildred (Clark) Baker, his wife of 54 years, Wanda June (Sloane), his only son, Glen Randall, his brothers Stevie and Neil Randall, and his stepmother Eva Perkins Randall.

He is survived by his brother Stuart and partner, Mary Phinney, by three remaining children, daughter Susan Randall and her spouse, Linda Schneck, of Barton, daughter Lenna (Randall) Noth of St. Albans, daughter Gail (Randall) Hayden and her husband, Eugene (Skip) Hayden, of Westmore, and his daughter-in-law Kay Randall of Barton. Earle is also survived by 11 grandchildren: Avery, Shanna, Devin, Lindsay, Bradley, Dustin, Veronica, Clark, Kye, Axle, and Merlin, and six great-grandchildren: Sophia, Cassidy, Braylen, Kellen, Jace, and Everett.

Earle was a true Vermonter in every sense of the word. Born and raised in Barton and a resident of Barton for all but seven years of his life, Earle was honest, straight-forward, hardworking, very witty (the typical dry sense of humor Vermonters are famous for) and always ready to help anyone in need. His family was everything to him. He was a great dad and an amazing Papa! He loved the outdoors, particularly cutting wood, sugaring, skiing, snowmobiling, and gardening. He also loved sports and history. The Civil War era was a favorite subject. His love of history led him to join the Crystal Lake Historical Society where he served as president for many years. He and his friend, Richard Douse, made a video about the history of Barton, which Earle narrated. Earle could speak about the history of Barton in great depth.

Earle attended Barton Academy and graduated from the school in 1946. He was very athletic and lettered in multiple sports, basketball and baseball being his favorites, as well as participated in student council and the Citizenship Club. Earle helped his foster parents, Mildred and Gordon Baker, who loved and raised him as their own, run their dairy farm. After high school he attended the University of Vermont (UVM) earning a Bachelor of Arts in education graduating in 1950.

He and Wanda married on Sept. 3, 1949. Wanda had a secretarial degree from Becker Junior College in Worcester, Massachusetts, and supported them both working as a medical transcriptionist at Mary Fletcher Hospital in Burlington while Earle finished his degree. Earle continued his athletic career at UVM participating in cross country and track. He excelled in both and in fact broke a long-standing record in the mile that had been held by his UVM track coach for several years. His name and record were posted in UVM’s Gutterson Field House for many years.

After graduation, Earle began his teaching career at the Simonds School in Warner, New Hampshire, where he taught biology and shop for seven years before changing careers. His students at Simonds loved him and many came to visit him throughout the years. Several came to both his 80th and 85th birthday celebrations. While in New Hampshire he made friendships that lasted a lifetime. Moe and Helen Chapin and Dick and Phyllis Bailey were special friends of Earle and Wanda.

As children arrived the good times continued. The adults and kids all looked forward to visiting with each other as often as possible. The adults were called aunt and uncle and the kids considered each other cousins. For the next 17 years Earle worked as a technician for the New Hampshire-Vermont Artificial Insemination Corporation which was eventually bought out by Eastern Artificial Insemination Corporation. He moved the family back to Barton. Earle was promoted to area manager while with Eastern and traveled extensively throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, and northern New York.

After 17 years he wanted to spend less time on the road and more time with his family, so he left Eastern, and in the fall of 1973, took a teaching position at Lake Region Union High School where he taught vocational agriculture and headed the FFA (Future Farmers of America) program. He coached several award-winning FFA teams in dairy, poultry, and parliamentary procedure, going several times to the nationals which at that time were held in Kansas City, Missouri.

After 17 years he retired from teaching in June of 1990.

Earle seemed to have boundless energy. He loved physical activity. For example, while teaching full-time he spent his spare time cutting wood for himself, family, and friends as well as for the family-owned, wood burning arch at the sugar house that he and his foster father built when he was 12. He raised beef cows, planted and tended a large vegetable garden and a very large potato patch. He mentored many a novice sugarmaker and loved to tell people about the process of making maple syrup. Sugarmaking was a shared effort by family and friends that included Tyler and Marie Bean, the Cooper family, Jane Greenwood, and Ruth Gjessing. Those friendships lasted a lifetime. He brought his grandkids with him to the woods while he cut wood where they learned about chainsaw safety, woods safety in general, nature, and a few swear words.

Earle remained very active in all these endeavors until about his 90th year. He then experienced some health issues that slowed him down but didn’t fully stop him from getting about. His deepest desire was to be able to live and die in his own home. This was made possible by his daughter Susan and her spouse, Linda, who lived with him and lovingly cared for him during his declining years. Once he slowed down, his daughter Gail would often take him on rides to see family or friends or just to see the beautiful scenery that is around every corner of Vermont roads. They would stop and eat at little diners or snack bars. Earle really enjoyed those jaunts and looked forward to those trips with Gail.

Per Earle’s wishes he will be cremated and there will not be a viewing. There will be a graveside service officiated by Joan Vincent at the Nye Cemetery on Maple Lane Road in Barton, on July 24, at 11 a.m. and a celebration of his life to follow immediately after at his home at 536 Breezy Hill Road, Barton. All are invited to attend one or both functions.

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