Randell Houston Farrell (1934-2013)

Randell Farrell was a personable man of great integrity. He loved the Lord, his family, and his little dog Max. Randell was born on Independence Day in a town called Liberty. If that is not unique enough, interestingly he was also born on his mother’s birthday. He grew up in East Nashville and began at a young age working. While only nine years old he would walk or ride a bicycle to Nashville to stack bottles for a business. By 13 he was helping his uncle with his roofing and gutter business. Later, although too young, it didn’t stop him from driving a delivery truck for Anderson Fish and Oyster Company. He later served in the U.S. Army. After he returned home he continued to work in the roofing business for a while, but then drove trucks for many years. He retired from trucking with 25 plus years at Roadway Express. He logged 3 million miles of accident free driving. He then decided he wanted to be at home, so he came back to operate Farrell Roofing. His work ethic was developed from the time he was a child. His honesty and quality work built a business that never had to advertise. When he wasn’t trucking or roofing he loved to “wheel and deal.” He loved to buy and sell trucks. When thinking about other things he loved to do, the list would sound like this; camp, work, fix things, John Deere, Mtn. Dew, Hardees, Fried Bologna sandwiches, and to aggravate. His aggravating was his trade mark that caused everyone to feel like they were a close friend of his. He loved people.

Randell loved the Lord. His grandmother was a religious woman. His beloved wife of 53 years also partnered with him in his walk with God. In the early 90’s Gloria was restored at the MJ congregation. Randell began coming with her. Later he and Steve Hale, MJ’s preacher in the 90’s) talked and studied. Randell was baptized into Christ June 4, 1992. Randell was never one to get up to preach a sermon, but his life was a clear message for the Lord. At times he would do jobs for people who did not know him. Before the job was complete they would ask him, “You are a Christian, aren’t you?” His ability to fulfill Hebrews 10:24-25 was beautiful. You could count on Randell being together when the church assembled and he had what seemed to be a natural ability to make people feel loved. It wasn’t through hugs, but it was his broad smile coupled with a one liner that drew people to him. He had a heart of gold. The MJ congregation had a richer fellowship with him as a part of the family.

Randell loved his family. Randell was praised by Gloria his wife, all his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. They spoke freely of fun memories and lessons learned from such a devoted man in their life. He taught them to work hard and be a person of integrity. He brought fun and offered wisdom. He brought a little dog named Max into the family. Randell and Max both enjoyed Hardees. Randell would always buy him a burger at the drive through. Here is an excerpt from one of Gloria’s nephews, Billy Randell Vick, as he wrote about Randell; Today one of the best men that I have known has left us, my uncle Randell (he called him Uncy). He was a father to me, a teacher of trades to me, a friend to me. He taught me about how to run a business. He was there for me every time I needed someone. He has helped many men, he is a pillar to his community. He is a God fearing man, a wonderful father to his children, a wonderful husband for over 50 years… He is such a wonderful and respected man that I named my son after him.

I smile when I think about Randell. He met me after hundreds of sermons with a great one liner. I think about the time I taught a marriage class that he and Gloria attended. One particular class we studied the need for couples to spend time together in order to not grow apart from each other. Randell approached me the following week to tell me he had been thinking about the lesson and took action upon it. To spend more time with Gloria he said “I bought her a push mower to join me while I ride the other mower.” I laughed and thought to myself how impossible that would be since he took care of Gloria like a queen. There are many reasons I want to go to heaven. Now I have another one. What a reunion that awaits us. Mrs. Gloria and the family are in our prayers and thoughts.