Randall Ohrt, 60, of Reinbeck, Iowa, died Tuesday, June 8, 2010, at his home in Reinbeck, Iowa, of metastases of squamous cell carcinoma, while under the care of Cedar Valley Hospice. Funeral services were held at 10:30 AM, Saturday, June 12, 2010, at Union Congregational United Church of Christ Church in Reinbeck, Iowa, with Pastor Joel Love officiating. Burial will be held privately at the Reinbeck Cemetery in Reinbeck. Visitation was Friday, June 11, 2010, from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at French Hand Funeral Home in Reinbeck, where there will also be a Masonic Service at 7:30 PM performed by the Coin Lodge #394. Randy requested memorials be made to St. Luke's Hospital NICU, Cedar Rapids, Iowa or Muscular Dystrophy Association for Myotonic Dystrophy research. To view the complete obituary or to send messages of condolence, please visit www.abelsfuneralhomes.com.
Randy was born on June 8, 1950 in Waterloo, Iowa son of Richard Lloyd and Margaret Lucile (Johnson) Ohrt. Randy lived in Reinbeck nearly all of his life and graduated from Reinbeck High School in 1968. He attended Iowa State University and graduated in 1972 with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology and a minor in botany. He did his field study in Cordova, Alaska.
On September 7, 1974, he married Cynthia Sue VanGelder at the Reinbeck United Church of Christ. Randy and Cindi lived their entire life on the same farmstead. Randy built a beautiful home for his family and he took great pride in the appearance. He farmed with his father and brothers in the Reinbeck area and was a Pioneer seed corn grower for 37 years. Randy was an excellent craftsman and repairman and loved the challenge of fixing and building.
In 1986, Randy was named Iowa Jaycee's Outstanding Young Farmer. He was interviewed by Lee Kline of WHO-AM, who asked how young farmers were able to keep optimism about their future in agriculture during the difficult times of the 1980's. Randy sited his faith in God and in his country that better times would be ahead.
Randy served on the Reinbeck Community School Board from 1989-1998 and the Gladbrook-Reinbeck School Board from 1998-2000. He served six terms as president. Randy was a Master Mason and member of Coin Lodge 394 in Reinbeck. He served three terms as Worshipful Master and was proficient in much of the degree works. Randy also was a past president of the Reinbeck Theatre Guild and was on the stage and behind the scenes of many productions. His favorite role was Wild Bill Hickok in "Deadwood Dick."
He was a life-long member of the Reinbeck United Church of Christ. He served on several boards and sang in the choir until his illness prevented him from doing so. He then joined the bell choir and was a member until his death. After worship service he often stated he missed singing more than anything else.
Randy's most important role was that of husband to Cindi and father to his three daughters, Charlotte (Eric) Butikofer of Cedar Rapids, Suzanne (Dale) Felton of Cedar Rapids, and Angela Ohrt of Iowa City and grandfather to Aaron and Andrew Butikofer and McKenna Felton. He is also survived by his parents of Reinbeck, his brothers Philip (Janice) and Bradley all of Reinbeck; his father-in-law Tom VanGelder of Greybull, Wyoming, brother-in-laws Thomas (Karlyn) VanGelder of East Dubuque, Illinois, Douglas (Ruth) VanGelder of Cedar Falls, and David (Jeanne) VanGelder of Greybull, Wyoming. He is also survived by four nieces and nine nephews. He was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Arlene VanGelder and a grandson, Ian Joseph Felton.