Joe Randolph '62 May 5, 2022 9:10 AM updated: May 5, 2022 9:13 AM
Joe Neal Randolph
August 5, 1940 - April 25, 2022
Joe Neal Randolph went to his heavenly home on April 25, 2022, at age 81. He was born in Stephenville, Texas on August 5, 1940, to Neal Malcolm and Anne Keith Randolph. He graduated from A&M Consolidated High School in 1958. He received his BBA degree in 1962 from Texas A&M University and was recognized as a cum laude graduate and Distinguished Military Graduate. During 1962-1964, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army, stationed primarily in Paris, France, and was attached to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). In 1965, he earned his MBA degree from Texas A&M. He was a proud Aggie and served as past president of the Deep East Texas A&M Club.
Joe joined Texas Eastman Company in 1965, initially employed as a Systems Analyst. Most of his experiences, however, were in the Human Resources area of Wage and Salary Administration, College Recruitment, Personnel and Training. He held several supervisory positions over a 25-year period. He was a proud and loyal employee of the company and worked with a large contingent of highly capable employees. His favorite role involved college recruiting for more than a dozen years at over 30 major universities and was immensely gratified at having a hand in hiring many graduated who excelled in their careers with Eastman. He retired from the company as Training Director on December 1, 1999.
Joe met Susan Bowling of Kilgore at Eastman in early 1966, and they were married April 22, 1967. They had just celebrated their 55th anniversary.
Volunteerism was a way of life for Joe. In 1988, he was co-founder of the GLOBE (Greater Longview Organization of Business and Education) Scholars, its purpose being to improve academic achievement for all students.
He spent many years spreading the program (renamed Texas Scholars in 1992) throughout the state. It became a major influence in the phasing out of “below grade level” high school courses in the development of the State Commissioner’s new 24-credit “Recommended High School Curriculum” passed by the State Board of Education in 1993. Thanks heavily to the influence of President George W. Bush, Texas Scholars was replicated in 16 additional states beginning in 2003, with Joe as its Implementation Director.
Joe was an active member and chairman of the Texas Business and Education Coalition, an Austin-based initiative of business executives and education leaders committed to improved the Texas Publish School System. He was also a member of a task forced the convinced the State Legislature in 1991 to build a branch ampus of Texas State Technical College in Marshall. Joe was involved in many speaking engagements concerning education reform initiatives before a myriad of state, regional, community, and professional organizations. His honors included 1994 co-winner of the State Board of Education’s first “Hero for the Children” award, plus the 1997 “Entrepreneur of the Year” finalist award sponsored by several prominent national corporations. He was a member of the Longview ISD Board of Trustees that was named 1992 Outstanding School Board in Texas. Joe received an honorary lifetime PTA membership. He mentored students with special needs at Forest Park Middle School.
Joe was a long-time member of First Baptist Church, serving on several committees and project teams, and as a 6th grade boys’ Sunday School teacher. He also did volunteer work with various local charitable organizations during his retirement years.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his mother-in-law Florece Kirksey Bowling, and brother-in-law Ray Bowling. He is survived by his beloved wife Susan, his son Jason Randolph and his wife Julie of College Station, his son Greg Randolph and his wife Whitney of Southlake, and his daughter Lacey Brajenovich and her husband Robert Brajenovich of Katy, brother Larry Randolph and his wife Mary of Lake Conroe, sister-in-law Jodi Bowling of Plano, a niece, nephews, and cousins. He was Papa Joe to his six grandchildren Alec and Jeffrey Randolph, Cade and Cole Randolph, and Peyton and Camden Brajenovich.
A celebration of Joe’s life will be held Friday, April 29 at 1:00 at First Baptist Church, Longview, TX, with a visitation to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Benevolence Fund of First Baptist Church, or to your favorite charity.