Randall "Randy" Gene Christen, 67, of Blanchester, Ohio and Sarasota, Fla. passed away on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at his Sarasota home after a courageous six-month battle with cancer. His wife of almost 39 years, Ellen Dross Christen, survives and was with him. Both of his sons, his grandson, and sister-in-law came to Florida to spend time with him over the past several weeks.
Randy was born in Cincinnati on Oct. 1, 1946. His parents were Eugene George Christen and Anna Marie Graham Christen. The family moved to Blanchester when Randy was 4 years old. He graduated from Blanchester High School where he was a track star.
He attended Miami University and Ohio State University before joining the family business. He and his parents owned and operated Ran-Dell Nursery & Landscaping for more than 45 years. He retired this past summer.
Randy's Ohio passions were his family, his business, working in his garden and yard, and wine making. If it wasn't raining he was outside on his John Deere mower or tending his garden until dark. In Florida, he was a member at Palm Aire Country Club and enjoyed playing in several golf groups, attending social events, the beach and spending time with friends.
In addition to his wife, Ellen, those left behind to mourn his passing are his eldest son, Benjamin Christen of North Augusta, S.C., his grandson, Gabriel Christen of Blanchester, Ohio, his youngest son, Brett Christen and his fiancé Marteena Smith and their children, Holly Lykins, JT Lykins, Daniel Dillinger and their granddaughter Ealynn, all of Wilmington, Ohio. Others mourning with them are Susan Dross McGeehan, a sister-in law, and brother-in-law Patrick McGeehan of Waynesville, Ohio, several nieces, nephews, cousins, and his extended family in Sarasota, Fla. and in the United Kingdom.
The family wishes to sincerely thank all the family and friends for their prayers and support throughout Randy's illness and since his death. They also want to express their gratitude to the wonderful caring team at Tidewell Hospice in Florida.
Visitation will be on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Faith Lutheran Church, 421 E. Vine St. in Wilmington. The funeral service will follow at 5 p.m. Thursday, with a reception/celebration of life after the service in the fellowship room.
A graveside service will be on Friday morning for the immediate family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made in his honor to Faith Lutheran Church Food Pantry, 421 E. Vine St., Wilmington, OH 45177, or to a
Arrangements are under the direction of the Tufts Schildmeyer Family Funeral Home in Blanchester.