Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


December 6, 2012

Lelah Ruth (Bedford) Randall

UNIONVILLE, Mo. — Lelah Ruth (Bedford) Randall, 89, of Unionville, Mo., went to be with the Lord on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 at Putnam County Care Center in Unionville, Mo.

She was born Sept. 4, 1923 to Vernetta (Vernettie) June (Sproull) and James Garrett Bedford in Waynesville, Mo. Lelah was born into a family of nine children, one dying at birth and four half siblings. As a young girl, Lelah was raised in the Rockville, Mo. area. As an early teen, she accepted Christ as her savior and was baptized in the creek near Round Prairie Baptist Church. In 1940, Lelah was the first in her family to graduate high school at Deepwater Mo. at the age of 16.

In 1942 she met Rodney Randall, a young farmer from Lowry City, Mo. After a long courtship of six weeks, they were married on June 21, 1942 in Butler, Mo. Four children were born to this union, James Rodney, Linda Lee, Janet Sue and Timothy Joel. The year 1942 was the beginning of 70 years of adventures the two would enjoy together.

They attended church at Cedar Grove Christian Church and began intensively studying the Bible. Lelah was supportive of Rodney’s calling to the ministry which would take them to South Dakota, Texas, Iowa, Unionville, Kirksville and Auxvasse, Mo. Going with Rodney to church camps during the summer, Lelah continued to help in all the ways a minister’s wife must do. During their many years of ministry, they met and were endeared to countless families and friends, who Lelah continued to write letters and keep in touch. From her days as a young woman, the trip to the mailbox was and continued to be the highlight of her day.

They loved to travel and their life adventures took them to 49 states, starting out in sleeping bags and tents, advancing to the pop-up camper Rodney made and then finally their RV. Flying to Hawaii with some friends from the Cincinnati, Iowa Church was a highlighted vacation. In 2003, celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary, they went on an Alaskan cruise and traveled by bus and train to revisit Anchorage and on to Fairbanks.

Lelah always planted a garden which yielded an abundance of canned vegetables and jellies and preserves, until her health wouldn’t allow it. Having grown up in the depression years, she never wanted to let anything go to waste. Lelah had a “green thumb.” She loved flowers and was able to start many new African violets and get them to grow, when others could not.

Down through the years, her favorite recreation was going to see her children and grandchildren play ballgames. At 88, she went to her final game, to see her great grandson play basketball. At home, her recreation was a good game of Skip-Bo; she was never too tired for “just another game.” Her challenge was to see how many times she could draw a new hand of cards. While living in South Dakota, Lelah went to her first garage sale. Years later, it was one of her favorite things to do. During the time that CB radios were in, she went by the name of “Bargain-Hunter.”

She was preceded in death by her parents, Vernetta (Vernettie) and James G. Bedford of Appleton City Mo.; brothers Leland (at birth), Roy Bedford and Thompson Bedford of Appleton City Mo., Everett Bedford of Harrisonville, Mo. and Lloyd Bedford of Higginsville, Mo.; two sisters, Mata Langdon of Higginsville, Mo. and Minnie Smith of Appleton City, Mo.; a grandson John Randall; and a great-grandson, Landon Randall.

She is survived by her devoted husband Rodney of Unionville, Mo.; children, Jim Randall and wife Patsy of Versailles, Mo., Linda Spence and husband Terry of Unionville, Mo., Janet Denton and husband Roger of Lee’s Summit, Mo., Tim Randall and wife Georgia of Clinton, Mo.; 13 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren; one brother, Charles Bedford of Liberty, Mo.; one sister-in-law, Wilma Bedford of Harrisonville, Mo.; and a host of nieces and nephews; many friends; as well as countless brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today at Lange Funeral Home and Crematory in Centerville with Pastor Denny Daum officiating. A visitation was held Wednesday at Lange Funeral Home from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. with the family present from 6-8 p.m. A visitation will also be held today at Lange Funeral Home from 10-11 a.m. Burial will take place Friday morning at the Lowry City Cemetery in Lowry, Mo.

Memorials have been established to either the Show-Me Christian Youth Home of La Monte, Mo. or the Deaf Missions and may be given to Lange Funeral Home and Crematory, 1900 S. 18th St., Centerville, Iowa, 52544.

Condolences may be shared online at

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