Life Story / Obituary
Patient, kind, and hard-working, Randall L. Kleinheksel, lived a life rich in family, faith, and friends. Naturally good-natured, Randy was consistently pleasant. He listened with empathy and recognized the gift in each moment. His warm heart and steadfast calm provided safe harbor for others, welcoming every person just as they were and reflecting their enoughness at every turn. A devoted husband, father, and grandfather, Randy inspired all who were blessed to know him. Cherished by many, Randy will long be remembered and ever so missed.
1947 proved a year of continued celebration of the nation's momentous victory in World War II. America's heroes eagerly returned home to a country filled with renewed spirit and hope, ready to claim their share of the American Dream, which they fought so proudly for overseas. As American prosperity grew like no time in our history hope sprang eternal, and the Greatest Generation soon proliferated, creating the age of the Baby Boomers. In Holland, Michigan, the cause for celebration grew even greater for Julius and Serena Kleinheksel as they welcomed their son Randy into their family on November 4.
Growing up in Holland, Randy's early years built a firm foundation for the rest of his life. While Randy's father worked for a time as a mechanic, he later became a funeral director. His mother was a homemaker who devoted herself to creating a loving and supportive home for her family. Along with his siblings, Victor and Carrow, Randy was raised with a strong work ethic centered on living a life of service to others.
During his teen and young adult years, Randy enjoyed exploring the art of photography. He filmed Holland High School football and basketball games and did lighting for high school plays. He also loved boating and bought his first boat long before he owned a car.
A graduate of Holland High School, Randy completed six years at Hope College, studying whatever he liked. He also became one of the first EMTs in Holland. At the time, the funeral home had the ambulance business, and he loved the work. He was active in the Red Cross, teaching first aid and CPR. He even had his own Resusci-Annie, who resided in a suitcase in the trunk of his car. After funeral homes gave up the ambulance business, Randy became the accountant for Dykstra Funeral Homes. Dedicated to continuous improvement, he was instrumental in bringing Life Story into their business.
While working as an EMT, Randy had the good fortune of meeting the love of his life, Sheryl Wabeke, who was working as a nurse at Holland Hospital. The couple began dating and were soon setting their hearts on sharing the future. Randy and Sheryl were happily married and along with Sheryl’s nine year old son, Charles, they began their life together as a family.
A man of many interests, Randy's biggest hobby was photography. He was active in the Southwest Michigan Council of Camera Clubs and the Holland Color Camera Club. He enjoyed lending his talents to the Summer Weekend of Photography, held on the Hope College Campus. A life-long member of First Reformed Church, Randy used his talents as a photographer to create a slideshow at the end of the year. With three screens and nine projectors, he shared his carefully curated collection of the Church's events, all perfectly timed with a beautiful selection of music. Randy first began attending Hope College basketball games as a child and was a lifelong fan. He regularly attended games throughout his life, ride his scooter from the Dykstra Downtown Chapel to the Hope VanAndel Arena, even if the weather was bitterly cold until his health prevented him from going.
Family gatherings were a favorite. Kleinheksel Thanksgivings were special as the family enjoyed Serena's unrivaled turkey and dressing. Christmas gatherings always afforded good cheer, especially when Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus joined in the festivities. One of Randy and Sheryl's favorite things to do over their 41 years of marriage was travel to Walt Disney World. They began adventures at the Magic Kingdom in 1982 and made annual trips until 2013. As their family grew to include three grandchildren, Randy welcomed his new role as grandfather. Devon, Ryan, and Johnathan were truly his heart's delight, and he delighted in watching them grow.
Without a doubt, it is difficult to imagined life in the absence of Randy's steadfast calm and kindness. May we find comfort in our many treasured memories and in the honor of carrying Randy's legacy forward. With each moment we give of our time and talents in service of others, relish in the day's magic, adventure with our beloved, and preserve a special memory with a photo, we celebrate the many ways Randy gifted our lives. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.
Randall L. Kleinheksel, age 73, of Holland passed away at his home on July 16, 2021.
Randy was a life-long member of First Reformed Church in Holland and was employed/part owner of Dykstra Funeral Homes for many years.
He was preceded in death by his two brothers, Victor Kleinheksel, and Carrow Kleinheksel.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sheryl; son, Charles; grandchildren, Devon, Ryan, and Johnathan. Also surviving are two sisters-in-law. Dorothy Kleinheksel and Eleanor Kleinheksel.
We wish to thank our amazing team from Atrio at Home, who were so dedicated to Randy. Karen, Elsa, Betty, Karri, Melissa, Connie, and Debbie, we could not have gotten through this without you. We are also grateful to Spectrum Health home-based care, and Spectrum Health Hospice who provided support to Randy in his final days.