Randall “Randy” Vernon Van Etta
October 7, 1951 – April 4, 2016
Most people called him Randy, his two sons called him dad, his two step-daughters called him Nettie and his grandkids called him Geechie. At some point most knew him as MOSOB and there were a lucky few who knew him as friend.
Randy was born October 7, 1951 to George and Azelle Van Etta. As a young adult he met and married Sue Fugate and together they had two sons, Brian Van Etta and Joshua Van Etta. He went to work for Halliburton and moved to Caldwell, Texas and it was in the mid 80’s that he met Donna Yates, becoming Nettie to his stepdaughters, “baby girl” Alyssa Yates and “not me” Amanda Yates. After a long career with Halliburton, Randy decided to go to work locally for Gaas Tool & Die and eventually retired to his home in Edge, Texas. He loved both of his Daughter in Law’s, Connie Van Etta and Jamie Van Etta like they were his own and was a proud Geechie of his grandchildren, Biggen (Brian Jr.), Dakota, Sarah, Laura and Hannah.
Randy was an avid fisherman and outdoorsman. He talked a lot of getting to fish the waters of foreign countries but his greatest fishing adventures were with his buddies down on the beaches of Matagorda, Texas. In his younger years, Randy loved to hunt and had many stuffed trophies such as a red fox (that his son Brian shot), a porcupine, several deer, a goose, a turkey and several other horned animals. He taught us kids’ gun safety, how to shoot, how to fish, how to shoot a bow and arrow and how to swing a rope. He enjoyed working cows, roping steers, trail riding and running lines in his younger days and as he got older he enjoyed hanging out with his buddies at the Lonesome Dove and Chaps. He was never an affectionate man but he did leave us with some great nuggets of wisdom and life lessons that will never be forgotten such as; never touch a man’s lid (hat), always give a pocket knife back the way it was handed to you, know how to change a tire and check the oil in your car before you learn to drive it and never dig through a woman’s purse or a man’s wallet.
Randy was diagnosed with terminal cancer in November, 2015 and made a choice to not do any treatment. He said the two things in life you can’t escape are bills and death. On the Thursday before his passing and many times since his diagnosis he said he had no regrets when looking back over his life. He had done everything he wanted to do, traveled all over the world and knew that his last breath on Earth was not the end, it was only the beginning. He left his earthly body peacefully, in his sleep and entered his eternal body where he is now whole again.
I will forever remember him when I hear, don’t sweat the small crap, whip and ride, cowboy up and it’s like roller skating through a heard of buffalo. Randy’s family would like to thank Traditions Home Health, his UPS delivery driver, his doctors and his daughter-in-law, Connie for everything they have done for him in the last few months. His cremation will be handled by Callaway-Jones and there will be a private memorial for immediate family at a later date.
This closing quote sums his life up perfectly, “Life’s journey is not to arrive safely at the grave in a well preserved body but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting HOLY CRAP what a ride.”
I’ll miss Randy very much. He was a big part of my life and we had some fun times together. Especially at matagorda fishing.
Jimmy, he will be right there with you in spirit… he LOVED those fishing trips and talked about them often. Of course he was always the one to catch the biggest fish… hahaha… May God Bless you for the great memories you left him with!
Josh & Jamie,
We wanted to extend our condolences! We love you two, and we will be praying for strength & peace!
Wow what a beautiful tribute!! He was a character and I’m so glad I got to be a very small part but awesome part of his life! my condolences to the whole family!!!
I went on and searched Randy’s name today because I knew him, (from his Halliburton years) Sue and his boys when they were just pups. I thought I would try to find him and say hi and check in on Josh and Brian.
I wish I had been able to say hello.
I’m sorry for your loss.