Randall Ray Kristofferson, at the age of 79 years, went home to be with his Lord on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2020, at 2:30 p.m. at the Arbors at Lakeview Bend in Mexico. His wife Betty and sister Karol were with him. His funeral service will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 30, at 2 p.m. at Centennial Baptist Church, 816 W Breckenridge St. in Mexico. Visitation at the church will precede the service beginning at 12 p.m. Burial will follow at Vandalia Cemetery.
Randall was born July 20, 1941, to Albert and Carrie Ann Kristofferson in a farm house in rural Vandalia. He was joined by his sister Karol two years later. The family soon moved to Vandalia, where he grew up and attended elementary and high school. He graduated from Van-Far High School in 1959. He attended Missouri Valley College where he received a Bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate. He received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri in 1967 and a doctor of education degree from St. Louis University in 1980.
In December, 1965, he married Betty Hemme. They gave birth to three sons: Bryce in 1969, Brock and Brett in 1971. The family was later joined by daughter-in-law Kara, three grandchildren, Andrew, Rebecca Hamilton, and Rachel, one grandson-in-law, Ben Hamilton, and one great-grandson, Oliver Thomas Hamilton. He was a loving husband and father.
Randall spent 35 years in public education. His first position was with St. Louis Public Schools’ O’Fallon Tech where he taught math and coached basketball. He was principal of Elsberry High School for five years and assistant principal and athletic director at Bayless High School in south St. Louis County. He became superintendent of schools at Grandview School District in Jefferson County in 1977. Grandview was an elementary district when he arrived. During the 13 years he was there, he transformed the district to a K-12 district and built a high school. His sons all graduated from Grandview High School. Randall then moved to Owensville, where he was superintendent of schools for four years and finally to Viburnum in the Ozarks, where he served for four years and then retired from education. After his retirement he coached junior high football and basketball at Van-Far Schools.
Randall was loved by students, teachers and parents and was a role model and mentor for many students and adults.
He accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior in 1965 and served Him in many ways during his adult life. He served as an elder, deacon, trustee, sunday school teacher and on numerous committees in the several churches he attended over the years. He and his wife Betty served for years as volunteers at WERDCC, the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Vandalia, teaching Bible studies, leading worship and leading in the annual Agape Festival held during the Christmas season every year. They sponsored several youth groups and travelled on mission trips to Florida and Romania. In his last professional position, Randall served as associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Vandalia, for four years. He later became a member of Centennial Baptist Church where his son Bryce is pastor.
After his retirement from education, he and his wife Betty moved to Vandalia where they built a home on the family farm. Randall enjoyed building, gardening, walking and reading. He loved being with people and was often the life of the party.
During his last years Randall fought valiantly against Alzheimer’s disease. He resided in the Arbors at Lakeview Bend, a memory care facility, where he was loved by staff and other residents.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Carrie Ann Kristofferson.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Centennial Baptist Church. All may be sent in care of Arnold Funeral Home, 425 S. Jefferson, Mexico, MO 65265.
Online condolences may be left at www.arnoldfh.com.