The Colgate Scene
March 2004

Mark S. Randall, 1910-2004

Mark Randall and Gail Majdalany Heaslip '79 [Photo by John D. Hubbard]
Mark Stearns Randall, the longtime varsity swimming coach who also helped scores of people through a water exercise program he launched in 1981, died February 2 at the age of 93.

Randall's major role in several campus projects and his work in both the village of Hamilton and Madison County made him a well-known figure throughout the area. He had surgery last September to replace a knee, according to his caregiver, Becky Lollman. An infection set in, started to clear up, but then flared up in December. He died from kidney failure and other complications in Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, where he had been a patient since December 14.

Randall was born in Troy, N.Y. on March 17, 1910. A 1933 graduate of Springfield College, Randall taught for one year at his high school alma mater, Lansingburgh High School in Troy. From 1934 to 1942, he was director of physical education and athletics at Holland Patent (N.Y.) Central School. For the next three years he coached swimming at Hamilton College.

Randall joined the Colgate coaching staff in 1945 as varsity swimming coach and instructor in physical education. He was promoted to full professor in 1966 and served as chairman of the Department of Physical Education from 1965 to 1973.

Randall compiled an outstanding coaching record at Colgate before turning full time to coordinating the university's required physical education program. His swimming teams won 164 meets and lost only 58. He also coached soccer for 14 years, compiling a 74-41 record, and coached lacrosse, a sport in which he was elected an All-American in college.

Randall helped develop plans for the Grace H. Lineberry Natatorium, the swimming complex that opened in 1974. He also served as facility planner for the renovation of Reid Athletic Center and Huntington Gymnasium in 1977-1978, and continued to coach diving after his 1978 retirement.

In 1981, he established the Chenango Water Exercise Group for senior citizens and people with arthritis or recovering from strokes, heart attacks, or accidents. The program, held at the Colgate pool, earned Randall national recognition including Maxwell House's 100 "Real Heroes" in 1992.

Randall was named Madison County's Senior Citizen of the Year in 1986 for his work in the aqua exercise program. For more than 30 years, he served as commissioner of water safety for the Madison County Red Cross. He also was a staff member of the American Red Cross National Aquatic School.

Randall served three terms as a Hamilton village trustee, was deputy mayor during two administrations, and also served as fire and police commissioner.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Ethel; two sons, Dr. DeWitt Randall and R. Kirk Randall; eight grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Chenango Water Exercise Group, Mark Randall Scholarship Program, P.O. Box 284, Hamilton, N.Y. 13346.

(At press time, there are preliminary plans for a memorial service to be held on Saturday, March 27 in Memorial Chapel.)
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