Our beloved Randy was suddenly called to his heavenly home on November 26, 2019, at the age of 59 years.
Randy was born on September 8, 1960, in Barberton, Ohio, to Wilbur James Hartong, Jr., and Monna Mae Hartong. He was raised in Green, Ohio, at a time when it was rural, and fertile farming fields dominated the landscape. He came from a sturdy stock of German farmers via the Pennsylvania Dutch country on his father's side, and the Walker family who farmed in nearby Greentown, Ohio, on his mother's side. With the exception of one year spent milking cows for his family in Carrollton, Ohio, Randy attended Kleckner Elementary School through 6th grade, and graduated from Green High school in the class of 1978. Randy was an inexhaustible and successful participant in Junior Achievement, wielded his baritone horn with verve and precision in the marching band, and took the lead in many school plays with his baritone singing voice and boisterous thespian skills. Randy was affectionately known as the "heart" of his high school class, from which he maintained numerous close friendships for the next 40 years. He graduated from the University of Akron in 1984, with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Geology and went on to become a Senior Certified Industrial Hygienist and Health, Safety and Training Manager, first in Barberton, Ohio, for BWXT, then in Idaho also for BWXT, a contractor at the Naval Reactors Facility.
Randy loved life, nature, and especially people . . . everything God had provided him. He was an artist at heart, able to discern the beauty in all of God's creations, and enjoyed "getting lost" on Sunday afternoon drives, "going on an adventure" as Randy would say, into the mountains, forests, along the rivers and landscapes of the Rocky Mountain region. He learned to fly fish in the Henry's Fork of the Snake River, hiked in the Teton, Sawtooth and Bitterroot Ranges, and loved to hop the border into Montana for a day. He could just as easily be great company at the jigsaw puzzle table as he could be laying an outside deck for a neighbor, or attending a "coach's meeting" at the local pub. One could say that to be in the presence of Randy Hartong and his giant personality was, in and of itself, a grand adventure.
As a bachelor at age 50, Randy re-discovered his good friend Becky Radovic from junior high school, they fell in love, and became husband and wife on October 15, 2011, at the O'Neil House in Akron, Ohio.
Suffice it to say, wherever Randy trod, his "family" grew. This gentle and gracious giant was deeply loved and respected by all who knew him. He was an incredibly loving, caring, Godly man with a beautiful soul. He was a divine gift as a husband, and a patient, kind and loving step-father to Daisy, Henry and Caroline. He proved himself a Special Olympics cheerleader and supporter extraordinaire. Randy could tell a good story and his hearty, booming laughter was contagious and will bring resounding joy to those who will remember.
Randy was a member of Crosspoint Community Church in Idaho Falls along with his wife, Rebecca. They led a small group bible study and loved to entertain in a home full of joy and laughter. He lived by his faith and stood fast upon what he believed in. He knew one day our hope would be realized and that we would meet our Lord and King face-to-face. Randy was a simple man who touched many lives and loved Jesus. He was also greatly beloved by Jesus. His labor on this earth has now ended, but we have no doubt that he now knows more joy than we can comprehend. We look forward to that day when we will be re-united in the presence of The One who is our hope. Long live the spirit of Randy Hartong!
Randy is survived by his wife Rebecca; his step-children Daisy (Lee) Zimmer of Columbus, Ohio, Robert Henry Woodside of Stow, Ohio, and Caroline Woodside of Idaho Falls, ID; his brothers Wilbur III (Cindy) of Concord, NC and Bryan (Cindy) of Jacksonville, FL; his nieces and nephews Joshua (Jessica), Matthew (Allison), Mikaela (Travis) McLaughlin, Cameryn, Maxwell and Chandler, Carter, Adalynn and Cooper; his Aunts Donna and Joyce; and Uncle Lee; hundreds of cousins; and his adoring puppies Ryder and Molly.
He is preceded in death by his father Wilbur James Hartong, Jr. and mother Monna Mae Hartong.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, December 4, 2019, at Crosspoint Community Church, 1900 Grandview Drive in Idaho Falls. The family will visit with friends Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home East Side, 963 South Ammon, and Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. at the church. Burial will be in the Ririe-Shelton Cemetery in Ririe, Idaho.
In addition, a Celebration of Life will be planned for a later date in Randy's hometown of Green, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, the family would deeply appreciate donations in Randy's name to the Idaho Falls Mission, 840 Park Ave, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, or to Crosspoint Community Church of Idaho Falls, 1900 Grandview Dr, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, for its Missions Fund.
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