Kletke/Durham Genealogy

John Alden Randall

Male 1936 - 2005  (68 years)


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  • Name John Alden Randall 
    Born 7 Oct 1936  Taos, New Mexico Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 31 Mar 2005  Taos, New Mexico Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • March 5, 2005

      I drove to Taos yesterday to spend some time with John. When I arrived he had a couple long time friends visiting. Yesterday was the first time he didnít walk from the bedroom to the living room. By the time I left he was exceedingly tired and went to lie down for a while. Pat says he fell asleep.

      I shouldnít have stayed as long as I did but . . I couldnít leave. We had a good visit.

      Heís at peace with what heís facing. Pray he doesnít suffer.

      (I wrote the following message to explain what John has. If I've left out something, just ask. I learned from experience that sometimes my attachments can't be opened so I'm patching my message it in below to be sure you receive it. I also hope each of you receive this as I haven't kept contact, may not have your current email address nor have I sent you my own email address change.)


      My heart breaks.

      On Friday, February 25 the doctor took a sample of the fluid surrounding Johnís lungs and sent it for analysis. Tuesday, March 1, we learned John definitely has cancer and is in stage IV (cancer has spread to other parts of the body). In the appointment with his pulmonary specialist Wednesday, March 2, the doctor told he him he didnít want to perform a biopsy on the mass in Johnís lung because he didnít want to put him through the pain of the procedure. The diagnosis is Aden carcinoma. This is a bad cancer; they donít know what causes it. It isnít caused from smoking, radon, asbestos, etc. Even with early detection thereís not much that can be done. He told John he could see an oncologist for another opinion but his chances for another outcome arenít good.

      John has really gone down hill. Breathing is an effort because the fluid around his lungs restricts his ability to inhale and exhale. He has lost strength and weight. It is extremely difficult for him to get from the bedroom to the living room. He needs the help of his sons to get him in and out of his truck (cars are out of the question).

      I didnít think enough was being done. Iíve been begging John to seek a second opinion. He just said he would think about it. Yesterday when he saw his primary, he was given the names of three oncologists Ė one or two of them go to Taos to treat patients. Last evening when I talked with John he promised to think about it over the weekend and would let his primary know if he decides to see an oncologist. We have an excellent cancer treatment center at the University of New Mexico Hospital here in Albuquerque but somehow it seems beyond his ability to travel this far. Heís made the decision that he wonít take radiation or chemo.

      The doctor has given him a prescription to control pain. Both doctors (including the one from Espanola) have said they would go to his home if he needs them - no more office visits. Hospice was recommended by the doctor.

      I canít imagine this life without him in it.

      His sister,
      Minnie Lou


      RANDALL -- John A. Randall, 68, lifelong resident of Taos, NM, with the exception of approximately a year spent in Carrie Tingley Hospital in Truth or Consequences when he was recovering from polio at age 17, passed away March 31, 2005. Mr. Randall was a graduate of Taos High School and earned his BS in Industrial Arts Education at UNM. John grew up in the family lumber business and returned after college in 1960 to work 37 1/2 years and to retire as manager of the lumber and hardware divisions of Randall Lumber Co., Inc. in 1997 but continued to manager the family owned real estate holdings. He was also a rancher in the Taos and Clayton areas and in Bountiful, CO. Mr. Randall had served as an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Taos and Ranchos Presbyterian Church in Ranchos de Taos. He was a past president of the Taos County Chamber of Commerce, Taos Lions Club, and the Taos Historical Museums. He was a past Worshipful Master of Bent Lodge #42, AF & AM and had served on the Board of Directors of the Mountain States Lumber Dealers Association. He also had served previously on the Taos County Fair Board. In 2002, he was named one of Taos County's Unsung Heroes by the The Taos News. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elisha and Erna Randall. He is survived by Patricia, his wife of 44 years; and by his sons, Boyd (Lisa) and Keith (Sandi); and grandchildren, Hayden and Sarah; sister, Minnie Lou Stephens of Albuquerque; and brothers, Charles (Dorothy) and Merlin (Ada) of Taos; aunt, Martha Tecklenburg of Gallup; and nieces, nephews, and cousins. Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2005 at 2:00 p.m. at the Taos First Presbyterian Church, and remembrance celebration will be held immediately following at the Juan Gonzales Agricultural Center on Chamisa Road in Taos. Mr. Randall requested that memorial contributions be made to one of the following: Ranchos Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 36, Ranchos de Taos 87557; The Couse Foundation, P.O. Box 1436, Taos, NM 87571 or Taos Historic Museums, P.O. Drawer CCC, Taos, NM 87571. Arrangements by Rivera-Hanlon Funeral Home. To sign guestbook go to riverafuneralhome.com


      KNOWING TAOS' LAND BY HEART
      by Carol Mell
      Albuqurque Journal North on April 7, 2005
      Just about everybody knew John Alden Randall from the Randall Lumber and Hardware store. He was the guy in the 'cowboy hat who drove his beat-up flatbed truck, often loaded with hay, everywhere. In his truck he was whole. Outside, he was the guy with the crutches, the result of a childhood bout with polio, inching his way along.
      What with cell phones, kids, deadlines and just general running-around-in-a-hurry, I often feel I can't take time for jawing, but Gary Oline, a history buff, prevailed on me to spend time recently with John. In March, we recorded five hours of John telling three generations of Taos stories with remarkable humor, skill and energy - even though he was dying.
      At 68, his grin was as fresh as a boy's. Except for one year in Truth or Consequences, where he was treated for polio at 17, and his time at the University of New Mexico, where he met his wife, Pat, this rancher, lumberman, fisher, hunter, father, husband, cowboy and woodcarver always lived in Taos. He'd memorized this land the way a baby does his mother's face. ~ "A lot of people don't believe when I tell them that in the 194Os, I used to ride my pinto horse to the plaza," he recounted. "There was hitches all around the plaza then, and I'd tie up, pick up something at the store for my mom and ride back out to the place (now Lambert's Restaurant). Oh, you can't be that old,' people say. I always contended that Taos was 50 years behind the East Coast. And we pretty much were, really, when you think about it."
      John's Maine grandfather came West in 1903. His mother contended that there has been an Alden in every generation" since Plymouth Rock. Except for some fisticuffs in junior, high, John did all right in Taos for being non-Catholic, blond, having Republican parents and not knowing Spanish.
      "When I was at a ditch meeting a couple of years ago," he recalled, "there was a little controversy started and this one guy launched into, 'Those damn gringos and blah, blah.' I was the only gringo in the group. He tore them up and then turned and looked at me and said, 'Damn you, Randall. You're no gringo and you know it.' "
      John didn't have just his own stories to tell. To add to his own celebrations of life that included milking Old Bossy and Young Bossy, canning yellow beans, planting Randall beans brought to Taos from
      Maine, hauling wood onto the porch at the age' of 4, driving the cement truck to Colorado at the age of 12 and fishing 80 trout out of streams that no longer run, John had taken notes on his father's tales of murder in the gold mines, hangings in the plaza, house fires, cattle drives and Saturday night dances with train robbers. He may have remembered every word ever uttered in his presence.
      "Here's a story about Taos my dad told," John said. "Taos was known pretty good for bootleg whisky. A stranger came to town and asked where he could find some whisky. Rumor was he asked John Dunn, who says to him, 'See that house over there?' He says, 'Yes.' 'Well, that's Reverend Atkinson's house. That's the only place in town you can't get it.' "
      John's father, Elisha, was a near teetotaler, drinking only homemade wine he made from Concord grapes raised in Velarde.
      "Dad used to tell the story about being invited to Mabel Dodge Luhan's parties. He just didn't like the taste of alcohol, but, to be sociable, he'd walk around with a drink. When no one was looking, he'd tip it into a plant. Years later, there was a book written about Mabel Dodge that said she could never understand why every time she had a party one of her plants died. When I read that, I just broke up. 'Mabel, there was something you never knew."
      In talking about a time his father decided not to prosecute a bookkeeper who robbed his lumber business because she was the sole support for' her elderly mother, John said, "I understand. Sometimes, it doesn't pay to beat the situation to death."
      John didn't beat his own situation to death. He chuckled and shared his stories one week, the next week his many friends and family visited him, and then last week he laid down his crutches and died, with his family gathered around him.
      Funny how time expanded on those afternoons at his house by Rio Pueblo. By some strange formula, people in John's day worked harder, yet had more time for shooting the breeze when that was the only way a body knew anything, when people knew each other by heart. It is an art form that is dying. John was a master.
    Person ID I0407  Kletke-Durham
    Last Modified 21 Jul 2009 

    Father Elisha Pratt Randall,   b. 4 Jan 1896,   d. 7 May 1971  (Age 75 years) 
    Mother Erna Gertrude Kletke,   b. 17 Apr 1903, Alva, Woods, Oklahoma Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Apr 1999, Taos, New Mexico Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 96 years) 
    Married 9 Feb 1930 
    Family ID F106  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Patricia Sue Gibson 
    Children 
    +1. Boyd Allan Randall
     2. Keith Alden Randall
    Family ID F148  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Kletke Cousins
    Kletke Cousins
    Picture taken at the Kletke farm a few days after Theresa (Stevens) Kletke died on April 2, 1948
    Back Row - Ralph, Charles, Minnie Lou
    Center Row - Dale, John, Jason, Aunt Hilda, Joyce, Robert, Edward
    Front Row - Merlin, Ernest, Walter
    Kletke Cousins
    Back Row: Donald Neil, Charles Randall, Betty Carol Miller
    Front Row: Merlin Randall, John Randall, Minnie Lou Randall (At least one living or private individual is linked to this item - Details withheld.)