Randall P. Paul
Loving, generous, and kind, Randall Paul Schlinke lived a life rich in family, faith, and friendship. Leader, achiever, romantic; husband, father, grandfather, and friend; Randy faithfully embraced each day determined to give his very best and provide for those he cared for most. He lead with his heart, and in so doing, showed through his example how to live a loving and meaningful life. Revered by many, Randy’s memory will long be cherished in the hearts of those he so powerfully loved.
1956 proved a year of vibrant growth with consumerism taking off in previously unimaginable ways. For the first time in history, seven out of ten families in the US owned an automobile, and new laws were created to require seat belts to be installed on all new cars. The new home market exploded while the baby boom continued to proliferate. McDonald’s, TV dinners, cans of Coca-Cola, Lego, Velcro, and The Mickey Mouse Club all became household mainstays, while Rock and Roll’s music continued to grow in popularity with more idols including Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and the Comets, Chuck Berry and The Platters. In Milwaukee, this time of peace and plenty grew especially bright as Randall Schlinke was welcomed to the world on March 15th.
Growing up on the south side of Milwaukee, Randy enjoyed a childhood centered in faith and family. He often reminisced of fishing with his father, Paul Schlinke, traveling up north with his Uncle Ken and Aunt Joan, serving as an altar boy at St. Anthony’s, and his days at St. John Kanty Grade School and his dog named Blue. Hanging out with his older brother Jeff and Jeff’s buddies led to many good times and the forging of lifelong friendships. Randy shared a special bond with his mother, Gerry Redman, who was an amazing single mother for many years. Her hard work as a waitress and later as the owner and operator of Gerry’s Ron De Voo proved powerful influences for Randy. His mother’s example of hard work, perseverance, and faith helped build the firm foundation upon which Randy proudly built the rest of his life.
Randy’s teen years included the thrill of being a football star at Boys Tech High School. While working at Treasure Island Department Store Randy had the good fortune of meeting the love of his life, Linda Rackowski. The two 16-year-olds began dating and soon recognized their desire to share the rest of their lives together. In an effort to ensure a secure future, Randy concentrated on his studies and graduated from Boys Tech High School and Cardinal Stritch University.
The happy young couple married on June 18th, 1976, at St Paul’s Catholic Church, in Milwaukee, WI surrounded by family and friends. Together, they navigated life as equal partners, each perfect halves that completed the other, building a beautiful family and helping each other grow together in love and faith. Randy and Linda were blessed with three wonderful children; Ryan, Ross, and Dana, who completed their family in the best of ways.
With signature confidence, hard work, and leadership, Randy’s career in business resulted in a lot of adventure over the years. During his early 20’s he owned and operated Diversified Property Service. In the early 90’s he owned the racquetball club – South Hills Athletic Club. Later he owned property management company – Colonial Real Estate Management. For his final business venture, he and his cherished business partner/friend Henry Asik invested in Custom Fabricating & Supplies. Randy possessed a passion for buying and investing in lake properties and vacation homes. These particular investments afforded the opportunity for his family and friends to create countless treasured memories including traditional 4th of July parties at Belgium with bonfires and fireworks on the beach and competitive ping pong tournaments.
Not only did Randy understand the value of hard work, he also recognized the importance of sharing quality time with those he loved. A natural athlete and leader, Randy coached his children’s Little League teams when they were young. He also played softball, basketball, and golf through the years. He enjoyed being able to share his love of sports with his children and particularly enjoyed golfing with his adult sons. The banter and friendly competition between the guys was something he often looked forward to. Equally special to Randy, was the tradition of watching It’s A Wonderful Life every Christmas season with his daughter. Year after year, as they shared George Bailey’s transformation, he and Dana rediscovered they were both sappy and shared the same warm, sensitive heart.
Travel was one of Randy’s greatest passions, and it was important to him to share his passion with his family. With this in mind, he hosted annual summer vacation gatherings in Hot Springs, Arkansas where fun in the sun, days on the lake, and the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine shaped good times and vivid memories for all. Randy’s idea of a great vacation was one full of hiking, being enveloped by nature, and the reward of a picnic lunch upon reaching a waterfall or other exquisite destination. Randy’s favorite vacation place was Lake Tahoe where the clear, cobalt blue lake tucked into the snowy Sierra Nevada mountain range, embraced him with the pine-scented affirmations of the majesty of God’s love. It is safe to say that many of Randy’s happiest moments were sharing his love of travel with his children and beloved grandchildren. Being able to create a trip to Disney as an entire family was one of Randy’s greatest joys. Plummeting to the Earth on the Tower of Terror, exploring the skies on Space Mountain, and spinning around in the dreaded Tea Cups with his beautiful family was truly his heart’s delight.
With the guiding words from Luke 12:48 “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required,” Randy felt a strong call to use his gifts and talents in service of others. With tremendous sensitivity and compassion, intellect and humor, love and generosity, Randy unhesitatingly answered when called upon for help firmly believing, “You can’t out give God.” While he freely gave of himself in everything he did, one extraordinarily powerful moment in his journey of service was when he participated in a Mission trip to Honduras in 2009 to build a church.
Without a doubt, Randy’s pride was his family, and as his children married, he lovingly welcomed his daughters and son-in-law into his heart. As his family received the gift of grandchildren, Randy’s love and pride grew immeasurably. His grandchildren were his joy, and he cherished getting to be Brooke, Gavin, Miles, Stella, Alayna, Reese, Miller’s grandfather. Though his family often heard him declare, “I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken,” they knew without a doubt that there was no safer place to be than in their father and grandfather’s heart.
While the difficulties of his final years cannot be denied, the power of Randy’s dynamic spirit will prove to be the memory we hold dearest in our hearts. May we find deep comfort in knowing that Randy is now at peace and free of Earthly limitations. As Randy’s undauntable love for his family will long be a source of comfort, may additional comfort be found in knowing Randy’s adventurous and faithful spirit remains in the hearts, memories, and prayers of all who were blessed to know him. It is in our lives that his legacy will live and continue to inspire others as he so inspired us.
Randall P. Schlinke passed away in the comforts of his home May 18, 2018, at the age of 62 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Beloved husband of Linda Schlinke (nee Rackowski). Cherished father of Ross (Crystal) Schlinke, Ryan (Heather) Schlinke and Dana (Joshua) Spice. Loving grandfather of Brooke, Gavin, Miles, Stella, Alayna, Reese, and Miller. Dear son-in-law of Dorothy Rackowski. Further survived by other relatives and friends.
Visitation Tuesday, May 22, 2018, at Parkway Apostolic Church 10940 S. Nicholson Road, Oak Creek, WI 53154 from 1:00 PM until time of the Funeral Service at 4:00 PM.
Private entombment St. Adalbert Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorials to Wounded Warrior Project, Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Team Papa Randy’s Parade, or Nigerian Missionary.