Florida village historian with recognized local heritage
A framed certificate of appreciation was presented to Gary Randall at a recent meeting of the Florida Historical Society for his thirty years of dedication to the history of Florida, Warwick and surrounding areas. Dr. Richard Hull also presented Randall with a plaque that signified his emeritus status.
Randall had “already left a fine legacy in the town of Warwick” for outstanding work in history and writing, Hull said.
Randall and his wife Kathy moved to the Florida Village in the 1980s after an uncle told Gary about his ancestors, who settled in Florida early, prospered and left historical records in “Randallville “. Randall was interested in his ancestors and presented research and writings on their impact on Florida history.
“Gary stands out in many ways.” Hull said.
Randall was the village historian for many years during a time of restoration work there, and he began to preserve pieces of history from many houses and barns that might otherwise have been thrown away. He taught people of all ages the story he discovered.
He created “Seward Day” every May for William Henry Seward’s birthday because people only knew a blue sign showing his birthplace on Main Street, but nothing about the man himself, who was Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of state. Randall has invited speakers to speak on many topics and has produced videos of 30 of Dr. Hull’s lectures. The Randalls provided more information in their books. In 1991 Gary, Kathy, John Kimiecik and a small group of others established the Florida Historical Society, which continues to grow.
Hull also presented Randall with an emeritus plaque which recognizes his tenure as a historian. The title of historian emeritus corresponds to Randall’s 30 years of active service in the story referenced above. Randall’s permanent position will be the founder of TFHS and past president for 30 years.
Kathy Randall has also been recognized by TFHS members for her dedication, research, writing, art, furniture finishing, and work as a historian. After 45 years in the business, she is an expert in antiques and will continue to share her knowledge with.