Randall “Ran” Farnum, 86, died peacefully on Dec 26, 2019 from complications with Alzheimer’s Disease. He was born to the late Harriet and William Farnum on May 7, 1932 in Appleton, Wisconsin. He graduated from Appleton High School in 1951 and earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from UW-Madison in 1956.
Ran met his wife, Barbara (née Holzer), when they were both in the 7th grade at Roosevelt Jr. High and they married in 1953.
Ran spent the bulk of his career working for paper companies in the Fox Valley and retired from Fox River Paper where he was Manager of Engineering. He spent the next eighteen years volunteering for Housing Partnership where he devoted two days each week helping to repair and renovate houses for low income families.
Ran had a great love of travel and took many trips which often included sailing and scuba diving. He also spent many hours on Lake Winnebago sailing his boat, “E-Z Duzit” which he loved. He golfed in two leagues and went to Timber Rattlers baseball games with his good friend, Scott Hiller.
After Ran was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, his children moved back to Appleton to support their parents as the disease progressed. Ran and Barb attended Fox Valley Memory Cafes where they enjoyed the companionship and support of many new friends and they also sang in the “On a Positive Note” Chorus.
Ran was a kind man, devoted to his family, who dubbed him the King of Punsters. Throughout his life, he helped people in many different ways. He is remembered for always asking friends and family “What can I do to help you?” and he meant it.
Ran is survived by his wife, Barbara; three children: Lisa Farnum, Laura (Edmund “Gerry”) O’Shea, and Joseph (Tuneka) Farnum; four grandchildren: Matthew (Eva) Kozerski, Leslie Kozerski, Stephanie (Randall Collett) Farnum and Elizabeth Farnum; great grandchildren: Thaddeus and Anelia Kozerski; along with many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his sister Dorothy Buesing; brothers Daniel and Keith Farnum; and step-siblings Mel Osinga, Mildred Arps, and Lillian Krug.
The family would like to thank St. Paul’s Elder Services for the years of daytime activities, and both Heartwood Homes and Theda Care Hospice for the warm care he received in the final weeks of his life. The family also wants to offer heartfelt thanks to Elyse-Krista Mische, a loving caregiver and companion to Ran to the very end.
Ran requested there be no visitation or service. A spring memorial gathering is being planned. Memorials to the “On A Positive Note” Chorus or the Appleton area Memory Cafes, both part of the Fox Valley Memory Project, would be greatly appreciated.
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