Oct. 3, 1957 – Jan. 5, 2024
Randal Lee Wilson, born Oct. 3, 1957, in Bakersfield, passed away Jan. 5, 2024, after a courageous 10-year battle with cancer.
Randal was raised in Shafter and attended Shafter High School, graduating in 1975. He furthered his education at Bakersfield College in 1976, where he was an integral part of the championship Bakersfield Renegade football team that secured victory in the Junior College Rose Bowl. After graduating from BC in 1976 with his associate's degree he moved on to Cal Poly San Louis Obispo, attaining a degree in agriculture business marketing in 1980.
In 1980, he embarked on his professional journey with SunWorld as a produce salesman. His work at SunWorld eventually led to a partnership with Cal West Produce, which in turn led him to establish his own company, Randy Wilson Co., brokering and marketing fruit. After spending many years in the produce industry, he joined his brother, Keith Wilson, at King Fresh Produce LLC. When describing his family's grapes, Randal once famously remarked, "We don't grow Chevys, we grow Cadillacs."
Throughout his 44-year tenure in the produce industry, Randy made a significant impact, especially in the sales/broker sector. He actively fostered growth and development among his peers, leaving a lasting impression through his mentorship. He selflessly shared his knowledge and expertise, asking for little in return. Those who had the privilege of being around him will always remember him for the mentor he was.
Randy's love for speed was evident through his passions for motocross racing, track car racing and flying planes. He had a deep appreciation for music and treasured attending Willie Nelson's 90th celebration in the spring of '23. In his later years, he created cherished memories with his partner, LeAnn.
His love and pride for his family, which included his children Meyer and Corinne, LeAnn's daughters Julianne and Lacey, and his grandchildren Luke, Hank, Cora, Ellie, Gemma and Clover, were immeasurable. His impact extended beyond his immediate family, leaving a lasting impression on many.
Randy was tremendously proud of his roots in Shafter and his extensive family, including his Kirschenmann cousins. He also held great pride in his nieces and nephews, as well as their growing families. Randy would spend many Saturdays being the biggest cheerleader for his grandsons while they played baseball. With burgers in hand and his granddaughter Cora on his lap, his heart was full. He also never missed his weekly lunches with his son Meyer at their favorite spot, El Sombrero in Bakersfield.
Randy was preceded in death by his dad, Woody Wilson, and is survived by his mom, Louise; LeAnn Guelker (partner of 23 years); sister Sandy (Wilson) Kroeker; brother Keith (Lisa); son Meyer Wilson; daughter Corinne Pettit (Justin); grandchildren Luke, Hank and Cora; and LeAnn's daughters Julianne and Lacey, and their children Christian, Ellie, Gemma and Clover.
In his final days, Randal shared beautiful moments with his loved ones and left his daughter Corinne with the words, "Everything is going to be okay." His legacy will forever resonate in the hearts of those he touched.
A memorial service will be held on Jan. 19, at 1 p.m. at Rio Bravo Country Club. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his granddaughter's honor to the Walking with Cora Foundation.