I have a friend who says: "Listen to everyone then eat the meat and spit out the bones." I hope you don't go hungry.

David Randlett: He is not here but he is not gone.

“I have terrible news.” That is what the doctor said as he came into the little meeting room. He then proceeded to tell all of us that despite all his best efforts, he could not save the life of David. Despite hours of fighting, trying all the conventional and cutting edge technology, and praying, his life ended. It was over.

After a few outbursts of tears, and hugging each other, all of us, feeling like we had just been punched in the stomach, we calmed down and went back to David’s room. All of us wanted one last chance to see him. To MJ, he was a husband, to the rest of us, he was either a father or father-in-law, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, a brother, an uncle, a friend, a co-worker, and a pastor. To all of us he was a giant of the faith.

We sang Amazing Grace and prayed together. After that, I really don’t remember much of what went on in that room. I found myself just looking at his body trying to imagine what the next few weeks and months would be like without him. The presence of his absence was already so heavy. He was gone, but not really.

Over the next few hours as our family talked about him, I could see the influence he had had on each one of us. As the day went on, all of us got texts, phone calls, emails and Facebook messages from hundreds of people all of whom loved David and were impacted by his life. Later that day visitors came by, all with stories about how he had helped them in school or at church. I realized as I watched the day unfold that this man had spent his his life giving away little pieces of himself to help others. Time, money, work, advice, prayer, love, comfort, help, no request was too great. He always gave himself away.

When I finally laid down to go to sleep, I was rejoicing in a way. He is not gone. That body we saw was not David. He lives. He is alive right now. As I write this, he is present with Jesus. As you read this, even though he is absent from this earth, he lives through those of us he has touched.

He lives on in the lives of his family who, by watching his example, saw what it meant to put the priorities of life in the proper order. Who, by watching him, learned how live out the two greatest commandments: Love God and love people.

He lives through the lives of countless people in music ministry who learned from him how to be be the best at their craft while being true worshipers.

He lives on through myriad pastors and church workers who by having had the chance to be around him now know what selfless ministry is all about.

He lives on through thousands of students who to this very day practice the principles they learned from him.

He lives on in the lives of more people than can be counted.

So, Boss, when we think of you, we will cherish the presence of your absence. We will rejoice that for you, life was always about something bigger than yourself. We will thank God that the sum of all those little pieces of yourself that you kept giving away, added up to to a life far greater than any one man could live. We will cling to your example of working for something far beyond life here on earth. We will be grateful that you were willing to be broken, spilled out, and used up for Jesus.

We will remember that even though you are not here, you are not gone. Enjoy Jesus, Boss. We know how much you love him.


  Jill Butler wrote @

Well said Rusty, There was not a dry eye at church today, Eventhough I did not know him personally, his smile and laugh lit the whole room up. He will be missed by so many, but he is now wearing the medal of Christ,
God bless your whole family

  heidi krone wrote @

I a reading this on a ball field this morning,and I think of him and how he influenced my life. My dad and David were so much alike giving a little piece of them may have 3months since dads homegoing and a few days for david but one thing I have never doubted is how we will see them again.. What Godly examples these 2 men have left in my life and as the hurt will be here for we miss them we rejoice for in. Knowing we will meet again.. We love you guys so much and look forward to our homecoming just as those who have gone before..

  Missy (Lowry) Carter wrote @


That is an awesome tribute to David! I cried again as I read it! Thinking back over the years I have known him. What a blessing to have known him! What a great legacy he leaves behind with all of you! (and us!)

Thanks for writing this! Please hug Karen and MJ for me!

  Becky Glass wrote @


This is a precious precious note from your heart about your father-in-law & friend. My tears flooded my face as I sat in church this morning, and, as I read your note, remembering him and his smile. His love for Jesus was apparent in all that he did.

Dave was such a friend to both David & I, especially within the past 8 yrs. He showed real concern & compassion, just like Jesus, when David would go to church with a broken heart from my not being with him. Since I’ve been back home ( Aug. 2008 ), Dave would greet us with his smile & love, he was so happy to see that we were back ‘home’ (church).

Dave’s presence on this earth will be missed by so many people, but, we know he is rejoicing in Heaven with Jesus.

We’re praying for your family.

  jill murphy wrote @

Thanks for writing this beautiful tribute, Rusty. It is so true–he touched us all and now he is rewarded in the presence on Jesus.

  Natashia wrote @

Boss was such an encourager. About 5-6 years ago, I felt lead to go up to him and thank him for his influence in my life. He believed in me and my abilities in such a huge way, it impacted my life forever. A ‘Thank You’ seemed so inadequate, yet it was all I could offer. I love this man and especially how he was so consistent in an inconsistent world! I am going to miss you Boss, even though I know you are dancing on those streets of gold!

  Gene and Chris Minso wrote @

Rusty, well said, we will miss your father in law. The smile was always present, he touched many and his legacy will live on. Absent from the body, present with the Lord. What a promise.

Thanks for writing this.

Gene and Chris Minso
TRBC Members

  Dr. Charles Hughes wrote @

I first met David as we traveled miles and miles across America for the ‘ I Love America ” production , then ” To People With Love ” in 1975, 76, 77. I have been with him in almost every state . He was a dear friend . I wish I had taken time to develop our friendship . I have seen him under pressure , the glare of spotlights, backstage , on the bus , plane , serving , relaxing , sharing . He was the same everywhere . I never remember a bad day . I observed his faithful grind of blood , seat and tears for ” Christmas Tree ” productions for years . I am not a musician but he treated me with the same respect . I am glad he is able to rest now . God bless the family .

  Gary Eubanks wrote @

Well said my friend.

  Deborah Graham wrote @

So well said, Rusty. What an amazing man David Randlett was…and he is……as he is more alive now than he ever was on this earth.

  Sandi Maitland wrote @

Rusty, this was very well said. He is with Jesus! “Absent from the body, present with the Lord!” To me he was a very Godly man whom I deeply loved and respected. I always thought if there was a perfect family, one to emulate, it was the David Randlett family! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Karen. God Bless.

  Dwight Whitworth wrote @

Rusty, we’ve met on several occassions. Dave spoke of you often. the last time was at lunch with Dave at Merts last year talking about his grandchildren. He loved you all dearly. We all loved Dave. He was like a second father to me. But the more I read, this was just his temperment. He was to everybody. We wil miss him. I’m sorry for your loss, but you’ve been made a better man because of Dave and Jesus in his life.

  Kirsten Gerringer wrote @

You described him perfectly. I will never take for granted the days, months, years that I worked for him and learned silently what it meant to live the Christian life and show the love of Jesus to all you meet. He was such an amazing and humble person. My thoughts and prayers to all of the family.🙂 We love you guys🙂

  Tabitha North wrote @

“Well done my good and faithful servant.” Those are the words I know David will hear.

  Sandi Conner wrote @


This the most beautiful eulogy anyone could have written. I knew David only by reputation,
but your thoughts and feelings have put a
more than human face on the reputation.
Please know that you and the family are in my prayers,but I know you all will make it through this difficult time because your love of The Lord will comfort you as Jesus welcomes home His good and faithful servant.

  Joy Hefley Alexander wrote @

Not to be redundant but…Well said.
Seeing David @ TRBC was always a high point for me b/c he exuded Jesus from every pore in his body…David was one that I have admired and loved for years there just b/c of that fact.
Nothing seemed to waiver him, that contageous smile was amazing….the gifts God had given him….He used them to the Glory of God and took no glory in it himself which speaks miriads about someone.
I have not called Karen b/c I did not want to be intrusive to the family but please tell her I love her very much and give her and Mj hugs for me.
TYVM for taking time to share your thoughts and heart felt feelings about David…
In Him

  Sandy (Sam) Snyder Crawford wrote @

Your summation of Boss’s life is so accurate. He changed lives. He LITERALLY changed mine. As I read the tribute, tears poured down my face. Not for his loss, he is dancing with the angels, but for the fact that I never told him how much he gave me, or how much I loved him.

ANYONE who knows him, knows what a WONDERFUL laugh he had!!

Giggle with Jesus, Boss…. NO ONE will enjoy your laugh more!!

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