RANDALL WILLIAM MELTON, aka Randy
October 15, 1960 to April 29, 2023
Randall William Melton was born in Bakersfield CA to Jimmia Lee and Charles “Lloyd” Melton
on October 15, 1960. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Keith Melton
and Carl Melton. He has one surviving sister Pamela Casazza, husband Frank and numerous
nieces and nephews.
He leaves behind his wife of 40 years, Laura (Black) Melton, three children: daughter, April
(Melton) Tyson, husband Jonathan, daughter, Andrea Melton and son, Alexander “Alex” Melton.
He has one surviving grandson, whom he adored and loved dearly Nathaniel “Nathan” Tyson.
Per Randy’s request, there will be no services in California! We had instructions from him to
“KEEP IT CHEAP!” In 2019 during his last road trip to visit relatives, he picked his final resting
place at Smith’s Cemetery in Edgar Springs, Missouri. The family will hold a graveside service
there in the fall.
Randy graduated from North High School Class of 1978 and proceeded to work in the family
business driving a hydro crane truck for Melton Transportation for 24 years. He remained in the
transportation business until the “wheels fell off” (his words) and he had to retire due to his long
battle with COPD. You do not have to smoke to get the disease, and neither one of us did. He
fought so hard to keep his independence and did until the last two months.
Randy was an avid scuba diver from the age of 18 and used his knowledge to advance from
recreational diving to becoming a PADI Instructor and later served 11 years as a volunteer diver
with the Kern County Sheriff Search and Rescue Dive Team. He was an active member of the
San Joaquin Sports Divers Club, where he and his wife spent every July 4th in the Bakersfield
heat, organizing and working the fireworks booth to raise funds for the local SJSD and Search
and Rescue Dive group. Friends and family would reap the benefits of his lobster hunting skills
as he would share his lobster bounty by hosting a large lobster BBQ.
Randy enjoyed drag racing and later in life NASAR. He started working in high school at
Famoso Drag Strip where he would sweep the track after the burn outs and spills. He worked
his way up to Starter and enjoyed lighting up the “christmas tree”. It was at Famoso where he
met his wife Laura.
As a father, Randy loved volunteering and cheering on his children at swim meets during the hot
summer months. He also loved to take his children and their friends to Disneyland once a
month, making full use of the annual passes. His secret was he made bull frog noises at the
beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride when it was inside the Blue Bayou restaurant.
The children never found out it was him until they were adults.
Although he never served in any branch of the military, Randy had a love of WWII aviation
aircraft and battleships. He loved to study history and he had a distant relative killed in action on
the USS Arizona. He visited the USS Arizona Memorial 15 times. (as a child he insisted on
visiting the memorial everyday while on vacation and his dad obliged). He loved attending air
shows and visiting battleship museums. He also was able to take a few rides in vintage WWII
military aircraft. On one trip where he rode in a B17 bomber, the pilot came over the
communications and announced he couldn’t land until everyone took their seat. Randy told
everyone, “Did you hear that? I refuse to sit, who’s with me?” He really enjoyed that ride!
It is so hard to sum up the life of a man who never liked the attention on him. He was funny,
witty, stubborn, caring, loyal, loving, trustworthy, grumpy and had a big old soft heart. He was
the world to his family and we are going to feel the void of his absence tremendously.
The best tributes to Randy come from his children and the people he met along his path in life.
We would like to share some of them here.
“To many people he was known as a grumpy old man but to me he was a loving, caring, funny
silly man that I was lucky enough to call my dad. He loved my mom and his family with all his
being and always put us first. He loved airplanes, battleships, scuba diving and anything to do
with Pearl Harbor. He had a soft spot for animals, especially his dogs. He fostered my love for
Disney, cheered me on through the long hot days during my swim meets and was there for all
the important events in my life. I am going to miss him so much but I’m glad he can finally be
free and fly that big plane in the sky. I love you Dad.” - April Melton Tyson
“Some of my favorite memories involve our Disney trips where he would go into Disney mode in
what he called his “Disney geek” denim jacket and speed walk throughout the park without a
break. This is how I do Disney now :). Another is when he would race on the double go karts at
Camelot Park with me as his passenger. He would laugh like Wario from Mario Kart 64 when he
cut other people off the track. He loved airplanes, military ships, WWII history, animals (except
snakes and horses, he was bucked off as a kid), racing and his family. He had a stubborn and
grumpy side, but he loved us and worked his butt off to provide for us until he physically couldn’t
anymore. When he was younger, he loved to scuba dive and would dive for lobster, then bring
them home and let them loose in the backyard. (which caused a lasting fear of long-legged
insects/spiders for me). I know you would have hated this much attention, but would have
appreciated it. Love you”- Andrea Melton
“My Dad shaped much of what I think a good father should be. He loved his kids and
was there for all of us when we needed it. He was firm, but always allowed us the space to be
who we were, and he had a good sense of humor. He worked hard and did everything he could
to give his kids a good life. He was loyal to my mom and held his family above anything or
anyone else in life. As a kid, I never wanted for anything, and I feel very lucky to have lived a
childhood where I knew no struggle. He helped give that to me. If he could have, I’m sure he’d
still be working hard to help his kids, even in adulthood. I’m very grateful and proud to have had
him as my father. I hope, going forward, that I can live up to his example and be as strong as
he was for the people that I love in my life. I love you, Dad. And I’ll miss you.” - Alex Melton
“He was always my favorite swim dad. Most of my swim memories are of him standing in the
clerk of course, motivating all of us girls, in the best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice, to swim fast
and beat you know who. ;) He was funny and so kind and his love for his family was obvious.”
“I remember you two were so young (when we met). I remember he was so nervous to ask you
(Laura) out. Bettye and I gave him our great advice (lol) on how and what to say to you. We
were so experienced you know, 😂 Hey, it worked, you said yes!” - Theresa
“He had such a unique personality, so strong and opinionated and yet so giving, kind, thoughtful
and soft. I always knew I could count on him for anything. I trusted him with my life.”- Renee
“We loved Randy, We were reflecting on his life when he did search and rescue. The stories,
risks you two took to serve others. Randy is genuine and stalwart. A pillar of strength and real
American values. He loves his family with deep loyalty.”- Kayleen and David
The family would like to thank Dr. Nick Hansa and his staff for overseeing Randy’s medical care over the last 15 years. The support and compassion shown to Randy was sincere and greatly appreciated.
We would like to thank Hoffman Hospice for the care given to him in the last months of his life. It was given with dignity and respect.
We would like to thank the Norris School District Family for all of the support, phone calls, food, coffee and prayers. It means the world to his family.
Thank you to all the friends and family who called and came to visit him. He needed those connections and they were appreciated and unforgettable.