It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Randall J. Woods, at the University of Chicago Hospital on March 16, 2020.
Randy was born on June 4, 1948 in Chicago, IL to Stanley J. Woods and M. Eileene Woods. As a young boy he lived in Chicago and Oak Park and attended St. Giles Elementary School.
His family moved to Hinsdale in 1960 where he attended St. Isaac Jogues School followed by Hinsdale (Central) High School where he set the high hurdles record, was the president of the National Honor Society, and met the love of his life, Carol Ann Kresse, whom he married on December 28, 1969.
He attended Princeton University where he ran on their track team and majored in Sociology. Upon graduation he enlisted in the Army in 1970 and after basic training in Fort Dix, NJ he was sent to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. His professor welcomed him into the program by telling him his sociology degree was “good for shit.” He earned his Diploma in Czech with Honors and then worked for the NSA doing top secret work during the Cold War.
He served three years in the military, mostly in Germany, where his first son, Paul Kenneth, was born in 1972. The young family returned to Hinsdale, where his daughter Carrie Christine was born in 1975. Being a dad was the role he valued above all. He was an example of patience and love and set the gold standard for embracing a lifetime of learning.
Randy pursued a career in business and always worked to broaden his knowledge base. He first earned a Masters Degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology while working for his father’s company, Pentagon Pattern and Engineering Company. His second graduate degree was a Masters in Business Administration from University of Chicago in 1976 which led to his more than 40 year career at FMC.
He felt he had the best job in the company when he was managing the FMC pension fund. He was applauded by Warren Buffett who said his management of the plan was, “really terrific and deserved some publicity. It’s one of the great long-term results in institutional management.”
Throughout his life he always prioritized personal and academic growth. He earned his third masters degree from DePaul University in Philosophy in 1992. His fourth graduate degree was a masters in English Literature from Northwestern University in 1999. Ultimately he finished his PhD in the field of English with his thesis on the works of T.S. Eliot in 2007 at the age of 60. “Prufrock” to The Waste Land: T.S. Eliot’s Periodical Publications 1915-1922
He was a dedicated servant to Grace Episcopal Church in Hinsdale where his children and grandchildren were baptized. He served as Senior Warden to their vestry in 2007 and 2008. He was a member of their endowment and property committees for years and served on the search committee for current Rector, Christian Pierce. He helped lead a capital campaign in 2005 raising $3.5 million which expanded the church structure itself and renovated and rebuilt the church rectories.
He served on the board of the FAFAC (Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council) which advises the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) from 2016-2019. He also served on pension fund boards and continued to consult with FMC until his last days. It brought him joy to continue to pursue his education through it all. Most recently, at one of his many beloved Alma Maters, University of Chicago, completing their Great Books program in Spring of 2017
He was a humble and gentle leader in his community. He prioritized his family above all else. His love for Carol guided him. His pride in his children and grandchildren fueled him.
He is preceded in Death by his parents, Stanley and Eileene Woods, and his granddaughter Grace Elizabeth Doyle.
He is survived by his loving wife, best friend and soulmate, Carol Ann Woods of Hinsdale, IL, grateful children Paul Woods (Christine) of Clarendon Hills, IL and Carrie Doyle (Jeff) of Danville, CA, and his adoring grandchildren Brian Doyle, Elise Doyle, Jason Doyle, Kylin Woods, Evan Woods, Londyn Woods, and Ryan Woods, and his sister, Cindy Delack (Vincent), as well as many nephews, cousins and friends.
In lieu of flowers please send gifts to:
Advocate Children’s Heart Institute
c/o Advocate Charitable Foundation
3075 Highland Parkway, Suite 600
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Grace Episcopal Church
120 E. First Street
Hinsdale, IL 60521
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the current social distancing policy, the family will be having a private family service at Sullivan Funeral Home in Hinsdale, IL. As a family, we look forward to hosting a public memorial service on Labor Day Weekend at Grace Episcopal Church in Hinsdale. Please support the family by signing the online guestbook at www.sullivanfuneralhomehinsdale.com
June 4, 1948 - March 16, 202006/04/194803/16/2020
Randall Jay Woods
1 Tree has been planted in memory of Randall Woods.