Turner lived with serious medical issues
most of his life, starting when we was 11
years old, when he developed Type I diabetes.
At that time, doctors told his parents that
Randy would probably not live past 30 years
of age. His sister and fulltime caregiver,
Sue Ward, said that Randy began giving himself
insulin in 6th grade, using a glass syringe
and a needle that had to be sterilized.
He has had this condition for more than
50 years. Clearly, he showed those doctors!
participated in many school activities
and few even knew that he was doing it
all with the added responsibility of multiple
daily insulin injections. He was active
in Choir, Ensemble, and Glee Club, and
performed in the talent shows and musicals.
graduated from The Ohio State University
in 1973, having completed a five-year
course of study in interior design in
four years. He then enjoyed a position
in that field with Ci Bon, a design firm
in Bexley, for several years. He loved
the late 1990's, Randy began having difficulty
with balance and walking, and began to
fall quite often. Other symptoms began
to develop that led him to a neurologist.
Through extensive testing, doctors determined
that Randy had developed cerebellar degeneration,
a disease in which the neurons of the
cerebellum - the area of the brain that
controls coordination and balance - deteriorate
and die. It is progressive, incurable,
and is not yet understood very well. It
has affected his brain stem as well, causing
him more impairment with time.
disease progressed significantly, and
by 2014, he was dependent on his wheelchair.
Randy explained the devastation of cerebellar
degeneration, and said that his goal was
to live long enough to attend our 50-year
reunion in 2019, but that he wasn't sure
he would be able; he had already exceeded
the life span predicted by his doctors.
we asked Randy if he would like to come
to the 45-year reunion instead of waiting
five years, he was thrilled. We explained
that the Friendship Fund would make it
possible for both Randy and his sister
to come to Columbus from Florida, attend
whatever functions he wished, and that
the Fund would take care of all related
expenses: accommodations, admission to
the events, a hat, t-shirt, and Time Capsule
DVD. Randy enthusiastically accepted,
adding that he hoped he would feel well
and Sue traveled to Columbus from their
home in Florida, thanks to the Frendship
Fund, and they stayed in a handicap-accessible
room at The Homewood Suites on lane Avenue.
He attended almost all our reunion events,
and classmates assisted him by moving
his wheelchair onto the class float. Riding
in the parade was a highlight of Randy's
and Sue wanted to share his story so that
you will understand why this gesture meant
so much to him. Randy said that he was
extremely grateful and humbled, and the
experience gave him something great and
exciting to look forward to.Randy's sister,
Sue, was able to witness the true generosity
and warmth of the Class of 1969 in action
as we welcomed Randy and her to our 45-year
behalf of Randy Turner and his sister,
Sue Ward, THANK YOU to all the UA69ers
who made this reunion experience possible
passed away on October 23, 2016, at the
age of 65. You can read
Randy Turner's obituary here.
who donated to the Friendship Fund in
2009 we were able to bring John Thierman
to our 40-year reunion from Malvern, Pennsylvania.
You may remember John as an outstanding
football player, wrestler, and member
of the track team. John experienced a
head injury in an accident many years
ago, and our Friendship Fund made it possible
for him to join usat the 40-year reunion
by providing air transportation and hotel
accommodations for him from Friday, July
3 until Sunday morning,
you to our classmates who have made generous
contributions to the Friendship Fund in
2004 and in 2009; because of you, we have
been able to help our friends!
who donated to the Friendship Fund in
Class of 1969,
can't begin to say how much the gift from
the Class of 1969 means to me. I am deeply
touched! I was more than surpprised to
say the least when I opened the envelope.
I was even speechless. Is that possible?
gift will be used to pay for the heating
of my condo. Just the thought of this
kindness really warms my heart. It will
make for a warm winter filled with joy.
Thank you to my Class of 1969, the Reunion
Committee, and my friends.
Alice Louise McCain Alice
passed away on January 22, 2011