Randy Lee Nead, born 18 May 1946 was always known to slip away from a crowd without much fanfare. No long goodbyes, hugs, or 'see-ya-laters'. Many times he would excuse himself from family gatherings without a word. Only later would we discover he was already back home, sitting in his chair. On 1 November 2020, Randy got up from bed, unable to sleep, and sat in that favorite chair of his. Finding nothing to watch on TV, he made his last quiet departure.
Randy was just 18 years old when the US Military requested his presence in the Vietnam War. He served from December 1964 to September 1966 and became a Helicopter Crew Chief. There, he earned the Bronze Star, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, The Cross of Gallantry, three Air Medal awards, and the Vietnamese Medal of Honor. In 1972, he married Carla Ellen Knight of Logansport, who survives. Randy is also survived by his son, Ryan (Michelle) Nead of Miami County, and daughter, Angela (Jim) Turnpaugh of Miami County, five grandsons, Thomas, Rhett, Alex, Jarrod, and AJ, and one granddaughter, Keira. Also surviving are a sister, Cindy (Steve) Jackson of Galveston, Indiana, along with a niece and nephew and three great nieces and one great nephew. He was preceded in death by his mother, Betty (Coleman) Nead and his father, Robert Nead.
Randy lived his life on a one-mile stretch of road on the eastern edge of Cass County. There, he farmed for 40 years. A self-described "dirt farmer", he loved picking corn and soybeans, especially when sale prices were up. He was an avid critic of rain at the wrong time, breakdowns at the wrong time, and motorists who wouldn't get over far enough when he was hauling something wide down the road with the tractor. After retiring from farming, he still enjoyed running the combine for the neighbors. He was constantly busy with something; whether is was a project he had planned or a breakdown that needed fixed. He enjoyed 'piddling around' out in his shop, building things with wood, and making improvements to his property. If it was a tree that had a limb that needed cut, something that needed painted, or trim that he was just tired of, he would replace, fix, or rebuild it. Nothing was safe from his desire for improvement. He instilled a good work ethic in both of his children, proclaiming that it was his job to make sure they "amount to something". He retired from Chrysler Kokomo after 40 years as a Gauge Repairman. He was proud of his trade and was good at precision work, even when things 'eyeballed' okay, he insisted it had to be perfect.
He attended Valley Fellowship Church in Onward, Indiana, where he enjoyed listening to the sermon, and did his best to sit in the back, and slip in and out unnoticed. Randy's love was his family, who he spent a lot of time with; especially his grandchildren, who sometimes would make a point to walk out to his house without even telling their parents they were leaving. He was a regular attender of his grandchildren's sports events, plays, programs, and the circus, where he very much enjoyed seeing his grandson ride the unicycle. He would often call up his children and want to go out to eat but did not appreciate it when we wouldn't let him pay. He was a dedicated 'snowbird', spending winters in Florida with his wife. He made weekly calls back to frozen Indiana just to tell his children how warm it was outside and to give them the exact temperature.
Despite Randy's insistence that after death he be displayed in a glass case so mourners could make a pilgrimage to his farm to pay homage to him, his family has callously decided to make his final resting place in Ever Rest Memorial Park in Cass County. Randy will be laid to rest in a private graveside service Thursday, November 5th. There, he will be near his mother and father along with his mother-in-law and father-in-law. We will always miss Randy's eclectic sense of humor. He often joked that he would be soon forgotten, but we plan on missing and remembering him for the rest of our lives and looking forward to the Great Reunion we all hope to one day have with him.
In lieu of flowers, Randy would have liked donations made to the building project at Valley Fellowship Church, 8892 East 500 South, Walton, In 46944
Arrangements have been entrusted to Flowers-Leedy Funeral Home. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at www.FlowersLeedyAllen.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Randy L. Nead, please visit our floral store.
Valley Fellowship Church
8892 East 500 South, Walton IN 46994