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Dillys Lynn Thomas Randall

Obituary Condolences

July 1925-April 2014
On the morning of April 3rd, Dillys left her family and friends with the knowledge that there will never be a way to replace the joy of her presence among us. One of the last things she said was, "Where are my keys? I'm going home." We sorely wish she had found them.
Born and raised in Lamars, Iowa, daughter of Amanda Louise Flick and Morgan Irwin Thomas, she was watched over by elder sister Marilyn after the death of her father when she was only three. Her mother worked through the Great Depression as a seamstress at JC Penney's. "We were poor," said Dillys, "but we had everything we needed." A sunny friendly girl, she enjoyed popularity, loved being a cheerleader, a tap dancer in school recitals and graduated from Lamars High School in 1943. She returned every year the class held a reunion and maintained school-day friendships throughout her life.
She left small town Iowa during World War II when she moved to Plainfield, N.J., to stay with her sister and began working in New York City in an FBI photo lab under J. Edgar Hoover. Her secret passion was to become a dancer on Broadway, but as fate would have it, she met Sergeant Harold (Randy) Randall and traveled to the Oakland Army Base to marry Randy before he shipped out to the Pacific Theater. "It was quite an adventure," said Dillys, "I rode the train all the way from New York City to Oakland, CA, by myself, with my wedding dress in a box on my lap."
Before Randy shipped out, the war suddenly ended and the couple moved to the Washington, D.C., area, building the first of three houses in Annandale, Va., about 11 miles from the Pentagon where Randy worked. They had two children: a daughter, Peggy Jo, in 1951 and a boy, Kelly John, less than two years later in 1953. Dillys was a super homemaker, an avid bowler, dancer and all-around great mom who sewed all hers and her daughter's clothes in the latest fashions. She went back into the federal workforce when the kids were in middle school, chalking up many years as an office manager with the National Office of the National Guard at Bailey's Crossroads, Va.
The family enjoyed summer fun at their house in Ocean City, Md., boating and beaching, until Randy and Dillys retired from federal employment in the early '80s. The couple moved to historic Snow Hill, Md., where they lived for six months each year, then Port Charlotte, Fla., for the other six months, where she developed a passion for birding. Dillys was hiking the beaches and trails in western Florida, four or five days a week, binoculars in hand until 2004 when Hurricane Charley took a hard right, decimating the town. While their home and RV were spared, the landscaping had gone missing, prompting a final move to Gainesville, Ga., near Kelly, his wife, Jennifer Jones, and sole granddaughter, Emily Kirsten, on shining Lake Lanier.
Dillys prized her home in Gainesville where she continued her craftwork and made new friends in the Gadabouts at the Gainesville First United Methodist Church. She would often say, "We are lucky Charley hit. We really love it here." You are welcome to visit Dillys at her final place of rest in the Alta Vista Cemetery under the bright blue Georgia sky. She always enjoyed the pleasure of your company.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 5, 2014, in the Little & Davenport Funeral Home Chapel. Dr. Terry Walton will officiate. Interment will follow in the Alta Vista Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Friday, April 4, 2014, from 4-7 p.m. and again Saturday from 10 a.m. until the funeral hour.
Those wishing to send online condolences may do so at littledavenport.com.
Published in gainesvilletimes.com on Apr. 5, 2014
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