Raymond Roscoe Randell, known to all as Roscoe, returned home to be with his Savior on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. He was 89 years old. Formerly an Urbana resident for more than 50 years and a retired University of Illinois Professor of Extension Entomology, Roscoe left this world peacefully in Parker, Colo.
Born on March 11, 1930 on the family farm in rural Tuscola, Roscoe was the son of James L. and Florence E. (Peithman) Randell, and the brother of Warren Randell, Francis Randell, Robert Glenn Randell, Howard Randell and Mary (Randell) Curtis. All of them preceded him in death.
Roscoe graduated from Tuscola Community High School in 1947 and from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a BS – Agriculture in May 1951. While an undergrad and in the year after, he was a member of the US National Guard. Roscoe was called to active duty in early 1952 and was deployed to Korea that Fall. He saw extensive combat as a US Army sergeant in a reconnaissance unit during the Korean War. He was Honorably Discharged in 1954 at Camp Carson, Colorado.
Mr. Randell then resumed his studies at the University of Illinois, receiving his MS – Agriculture in 1956. It was while there that he met the love of his life, the former Marjorie Doehring. They married in June 1956 and were married for over 60 years. Marjorie Randell passed in March 2017.
From 1956 to 1965, Roscoe Randell worked as a County Farm Adviser in Calhoun and Jersey Counties in southwestern Illinois. He returned to Urbana as an Assistant Professor of Entomology in 1965. In 1970, Roscoe completed the University of Illinois “trifecta” when his PhD was conferred upon him.
Dr. Randell specialized in research and recommendations for controlling pests which afflicted the state’s fruit and vegetable crops. He was also a turfgrass expert and worked with, and advised, many of the state’s golf courses. He retired in 1992.
Dr. Randell is survived by three children, Lorraine A. Kordik of Villa Park, Steven L. Randell (Jenny) of Castle Pines, Colo., and Linda S. Dean (Val) of Franktown, Colo.; seven grandchildren – Daniel, Lindsay, Ashley, Caitlin, Matthew, Adeline and Magnolia; two great-granddaughters, Katharine and Natalie, as well as countless friends, former colleagues and acquaintances.
Roscoe was fiercely loyal, particularly to his family. He loved his country, the University of Illinois, Fighting Illini sports, the St. Louis Cardinals, gardening, par-three golf, and lawn and landscape maintenance. He had been an active member of the Urbana Exchange Club and volunteered for many years at Carle Hospital. He was a long-time member of Grace Lutheran Church in Champaign. And while Roscoe moved to Colorado for his final years, he never “forgot where he came from.” Following his retirement from the U of I, he could at times be found on that same family farm outside of Tuscola assisting in planting or harvesting. From his birth in Douglas County, to his passing in Douglas County, Colo., he lived a very full and happy life.
A Celebration of Life is presently being planned for October in Champaign-Urbana. Once finalized, the family will do their best to announce and contact those interested in attending.