Randall Topper Swenson was born Jan. 5, 1942, and passed away July 15, 2019.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Aug. 10, at 2 p.m., at the Tehachapi Valley United Methodist Church, 20400 Backes Lane, Tehachapi CA 93561.
Preceded in death by his father, Henry T. Swenson, and son, Edward S. Swenson, Randall joined Our Lord and Savior among the angels, after the progression of Alzheimer’s disease over the past few years.
He is survived by his loving wife of 59-plus years, Diana Swenson; his mother, Lillian Swenson; his siblings (and spouses), Willie (Elaine) Swenson, Ingrid (Dennis) Ayers, and Tori (Lisa) Swenson. His children (and spouses) Lillian (Lee) Hayek, Kristie Caler, Sandra (James) Ryan, and Kim Church; grandchildren, Brad, David (Cheyenne) and Joseph (Sarah) Harriger, John Church, Tasha, Kayli and Sienna Ryan; nephews, Jance and Henry Swenson; and great grandsons, Hunter and Cooper Harriger.
Born in Santa Ana, Calif., in 1942, Randy was the first of four children.
Randall married his high school sweetheart, Diana Dee Smith, at the tender age of 17. Randall and Diana were lifelong partners, building a family of five children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandsons over the span of 59 years.
In his early 20s, Randall picked up a hobby that would dominate most of his life — golf. He received and gave so much enjoyment to teaching and living it with friends and family. Although Diana was often annoyed by the amount of time it took from the family, she understood that a hard-working man needed an outlet, and so it went on for most of his life. Randall enjoyed watching Dallas Cowboys football games, listening to Herb Albert & the Tijuana Brass, playing poker, drinking Cuba Libre cocktails, practical and verbal jokes, cooking, camping and fishing with his grandsons and family.
Randall became a member of the Carpenters Union when he was 18 years old and served with them for 27 years. He drove great distances to and from job sites in a single day to be home with his family every night. When work ran dry in the Kern and Inyo county areas, he moved himself to Santa Maria during the weekdays to work and came home on the weekends for several months. When the job was scheduled to push another year, he and Diana relocated the family to Santa Maria, so they could be together again. Randall worked for almost two years on the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. After the project was done, Randall moved his family to Lancaster briefly and then back to their home in Tehachapi where he would spend the rest of his life.
In 1987, Randall became an employee with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, where he put his extensive knowledge of the Eastern Sierra and carpentry skills to work for the next 21 years. He retired from the DWP in 2008.
In addition to his regular jobs, Randall designed and built furniture, constructing many projects for friends and family, dabbling in “honey do projects” for just about anyone who needed his help.
Later in life, Randall answered his calling, opening his heart to Our Heavenly Father. Randall became a member of the Tehachapi Valley United Methodist Church in 2001, where he served as an executive board member, a member of the trustees, and fellowshipped weekly with the Methodist Men’s Group.
Randall’s service to the church was vast and varied. From assisting as an usher during services, handling collections and accounting, helping with organization and setup of church events and providing maintenance and cleanup of the church grounds and facilities on a weekly basis. In addition, Randall served the pastoral staff and was available for personal support to the TVUM church family.
Randall’s assistance was instrumental during the church’s yearly fundraiser at the Mountain Festival Root Beer Float Booth for more than 15 years. He setup and took down the booth and made numerous daily supply runs, often at his own expense. In 2015, at Randall’s request, both he and his mother, Lillian (at 93 years of age), were baptized together at the TVUM church.
Randall was as much a blessing to the church, as the church was a blessing to him and his family.
Although Randall was not as social as his wife, he became known as the silent, helpful husband, who was loved and well known by many.
Randall T. Swenson, you will be missed, but the blessing of having you in our lives will be forever engraved on our hearts. Your legacy, memories and stories will be shared. We will laugh, smile and sometimes cry as we reminisce. “You” will never be forgotten!
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Alzheimer’s Association alz.org.