Major Randal Elliott (Retired) had a 15-year battle with cancer. On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, Randal passed away in the arms of his bride of 56 years at their home in Sequatchie, Tennessee.
Randal was preceded in death by George Washington Elliott (father); Maude Melissa Green (mother); George Elliott Jr. (brother); Dorothy Worthington (sister), Myrtle Waters (sister), Maxine Maclean (sister), and Rachel Autry (twin sister).
Randal is survived by his loving and wonderful wife, Margaret Toney Elliott; their three daughters, Teresa (James) Wallis, Lisa (Jon) Orr and Karen (Tim) Pollard; his brother, Dennis (Margaret) Elliott; 10 grandchildren, Ryan (Rachel) Wallis, Andrea (Kyle) Tatum, Paige Orr, Kristen (Michael) Fleming, Brittany (Ben) Buckner, Adam (Hallie) Wallis, Lauren Buttram, Mason Wallis, and Dalton Pollard; 12 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Randal was born in Dunlap, Tennessee on July 28, 1941. He enlisted in the United States Army on September 11, 1958. After basic training, he attended Military Police School in Fort Gordon, Georgia. Randal served with Company A, 709th MP Battalion with duty in Schweinfurt Germany and then served as a military police specialist and sergeant at Fort Knox, Kentucky and Fort McPherson, Georgia.
In 1961, while at Fort McPherson, Randal met Margaret Toney. They fell in love after many evenings of listening to Elvis records. They chose not to heed to the lyrics “Fools Rush In” and have been happily married since June 11, 1962. They were truly the couple everyone admired for 56 wonderful years.
Randal served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a Special Forces (Green Beret) soldier in the Detachment A-239, 5th Special Group and the 199th Light Infantry Brigade. During his first tour of duty in Vietnam, he regularly entered into combat. He was the executive officer of his unit that fought against the Viet Cong. On the 9th of January, 1967, Randal was wounded in combat and ultimately medically evacuated back to the United States. Randal began his second tour of duty carrying a P-4 profile (essentially, he wasn’t physically ready to be deployed back to Vietnam). He reported for duty with the 5/12th Bn. 199th LT IN Bde where he was assigned as the S-3 Air. He was responsible for planning and coordinating air mobile ambushes to secure a portion of the perimeter around Saigon. Randal was once again medically evacuated in 1969.
Randal received his Bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Tampa (Florida) in 1972. In 1973, he served as Provost Marshal Operations Officer at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Randal returned to Germany in 1973 to be the executive officer and S-3 of the 709th MP Battalion. His final PCS was at Fort McClellan, Alabama where he was the executive officer of the MP Battalion. Randal retired from 20 years of active duty in 1978. After his retirement from active duty, Randal began his career with the Civil Service as the Media Chief of the MP school at Fort McClellan.
In 1985, he completed a training film entitled “Protective Services” which was the first ever produced for the Department of Defense and received wide praise. In 1994 Randal received the Vincent F. DeRose award for excellence for his media project entitled Standing Up for Freedom. His outstanding contributions as a media chief were continuous and exhibited a standard of excellence rarely seen. After the events of September 11, 2001, Randal became the keystone performer to meet the unbelievable number of incoming inquiries and tasks. His grounding in anti-terrorism led to a performance of duty unmatched by anyone, military or civilian.
In 2002, Randal retired from 22 years of meritorious civilian service. His military awards include the Bronze Star with two oakleaf cluster, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with two oakleaf cluster, Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Badge, Good Conduct Medal, AARCOM (2) and appropriate campaign service awards and unit citations.
Randal was a man of honor, strength, integrity, kindness and a giving soul. He gave so much to so many. He will be forever loved and truly missed by those who were fortunate enough to encounter him on this earth. Now he resides in Heaven, where he has received his ultimate award from our Father in Heaven. “His Master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share my happiness!” Matthew 25:23
A Celebration of Life for Randal will be held June 8 at McClellan Center Auditorium, Bldg. 3181, 100 Gamecock Drive, Anniston, Alabama 36205 (Fort McClellan) at 2:00 p.m.
To honor Randal, donations can be made in his name to one of his chosen charities: Sequatchie County Cancer Support Network, P.O. Box 697, Dunlap, TN 37327, The Gary Sinise Foundation https://www.gary sinisefoundation.org/donate/ or Fisher House Foundation https://engage.fisherhouse.org/site/ donation27.
Online condolences can be made at www.reedfamilyfh.com.
Arrangements by Standefer-Reed Funeral Home of Dunlap.