Sep 5, 2012
Randall Middle School Namesake Dies At Age 82After suffering with congenital heart disease for a long time, Randall Middle School namesake James David Randall Jr., 82, died in July at his home, leaving behind Mary, his wife of 57 years.
Commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1952, Randall was a Korean War veteran, as well as served in Germany in the Army of Occupation. He remained in the U.S. Army Reserve for 38 years, retiring as a Brigadier General.
While his career as a soldier molded him as a man developing the traits of commitment, loyalty, allegiance and dedication, those closest to him say that Randall’s long history and career in the public schools scene defined him as a member of his community.
The Valrico resident, who was born on February 5, 1930 in Alabama, moved to Hillsborough County in 1955, after which he began his career with the Hillsborough County School District as a teacher at Pinecrest School, now Pinecrest Elementary in Lithia.
He later taught and served as dean of boys at Plant City High School. In 1959, he served as assistant principal at Brandon High School and in 1964 became the principal. In 1968, he was transferred to the district school offices, where he served as general director of Area I, II and III Schools.
Later, he served as general director of operations, assistant superintendent of administration and operations and deputy superintendent. Randall retired as superintendent of schools in 2005.
In 1991, Randall retired from the school district. Randall Middle School, which bears his name, located on FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia, opened for the 2000-2001 school year.
Some of his closest and long-time friends included Newsome High School namesake Joe E. Newsome and current Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Earl Lennard.
“Mr. Randall was a great leader,” Lennard said. “He had high expectations, new how to get the job done and nobody wanted to disappoint him.”
Randall Middle School is the home of the Hawks and has been an “A” school, since it opened in 2000.
School Principal Fredda Johnson recalls Randall’s frequent visits to the school until he was no longer able to do so due to his illness.
“We are honored to carry Mr. Randall’s name and legacy in our school,” Johnson said adding that once the students and teachers settle into their routine a memorial ceremony will be held in Mr. Randall’s honor.
Randall is survived by his wife, Mary A. Randall; his sons James III, Sydney, Joseph (Cheryl), Mark; his sister, Mary Jo Randall and three granddaughters Allyson, Debra and Savannah Jo.
For more information about Randall Middle School, please visit www.randall.mysdhc.org.