March 2, 2017 marked the day that another valiant, dedicated servant returned to his eternal home and to a loving Heavenly Father and Mother.
On the early Saturday morning of November 5, 1921, Ruel Silas Randall was born to Howard L and Ethel Smith Randall in Joseph City, AZ. He was the sixth of 13 children.
He learned how to work hard during his younger years. During his high school years, he lettered in football and basketball, and participated in the school orchestra.
He volunteered for the Army Air Core in November, 1942 and then shipped out in 1944 as a flight officer destined for an air base in England during World War II. He was a Second Lieutenant and served as a B-17 co-pilot.
Ruel completed 28 combat missions over enemy territory; his crew dropped food to a starving Dutch population several times, and they rescued French POWs in Yugoslavia.
He left active military service in June, 1945 and was discharged from the United States Air Force Reserve as a Captain in 1964. The bumper sticker on his pickup truck states “My other ride is a B-17”.
In 1946, Ruel was called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Northwestern States Mission. He served in British Columbia, Canada and ended his mission in Grand Coulee, WA.
After returning home, he attended Brigham Young University for a few semesters. He then moved to Monticello, UT to join his brothers Harry and Earl Randall, and started clearing farmland.
He drove a truck delivering flour across the Navajo reservation for his brother Harry. While making deliveries in Gallup, NM he noticed Ella Nadine “Deanne” Shill, who was serving a mission there.
After she was released in March of 1951, she surprisingly met Ruel on Temple Square in Salt Lake City during the April LDS Conference. Ruel agreed to take her home to Arizona, and that was the start of their relationship. They were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple on October 15, 1951.
Ruel and Deanne are the parents of eight children: Harriet, Julie, Jared, Todd, Barbara, Sanford, Sheldon and Kristin. They were married for 65 years and now have 43 grandchildren and 105 great-grandchildren, with four more on the way.
Ruel and Deanne spent their first three years of marriage farming wheat in Monticello in the summers and returning to Arizona for the winters. They moved permanently to Monticello in 1955.
He farmed for years and taught his children and grandchildren the value of hard work. During these years, he also worked for Sonderegger Construction and then worked as the custodian of the Monticello LDS Chapel. There were numerous times when he had to kick avid basketball players out of the locked church.
Ruel was a faithful member of the LDS church, and he served in multiple callings, including being a member of the San Juan Stake Quorum of Seventy. He was a faithful home teacher, stake missionary and youth Sunday School teacher. Through Sunday School lessons and hoeing beans, he taught many youth life lessons.
Together Ruel and Deanne served a full time mission in Des Moines, IA from 1990 to 1991. They also served in the Manti Utah Temple for nearly three years before returning to Monticello to serve for an additional ten years in the Monticello Utah Temple.
One of the things Ruel enjoyed doing was flying. After he returned from his mission, he bought a plane with his brother and continued to fly. He cleared his own landing strip east of Monticello on his farmland.
He would fly home to Joseph City, AZ and loved giving kids rides in his plane. He often flew Monticello residents to places they needed to go.
He liked to fly his plane into Chesler Park (which is now in Canyonlands National Park), and then hike for the day. He spent many of his early years hiking with his cousins Melvin Frost and Kent Frost, with some hikes lasting as long as three weeks covering many miles.
Ruel raised a garden every year since moving to Monticello. At the age of 94, he still hand-spaded his garden lot at the end of the season because tillers don’t dig deep enough.
Ruel enjoyed participating in and watching sports, and liked a good ball game. He was a big BYU fan and enjoyed watching the Utah Jazz.
Though quiet and unassuming, Ruel led a life of hard work and thriftiness. He lived by the motto, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
He was a loving brother, uncle, husband, father, and grandfather, and is recognized by his posterity for his legacy of faith and dedication to his deep religious commitment.
He recently stated that he may not have kept all the commandments, but he did keep the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth.
His passing is celebrated with the knowledge that he completed his sojourn in this life successfully.
Ruel is preceded in death by his parents and ten siblings.
He is survived by his siblings David Randall and Ellen Randall Goza; his wife Deanne; and his children Harriet (Warren) Peterson, Julie (David) Bronson, Jared (Rebecca) Randall, Todd (Roxanne) Randall, Barbara (Steve) Nygren, Sanford (Laurie) Randall, Sheldon (Kerri) Randall, and Kristin (Jeff) Wilde.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 11 at noon at the Monticello North LDS Chapel. There will be a viewing on Friday, March 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Saturday, March 11 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the North LDS Chapel.