Captain Randal Dale “Randy” Custard, USAF retired, passed away April 9, 2021, at home after a short illness in Friendswood.
On Feb. 13, 1938, Randy was born at home to Glenn and Helen (Coulter) Custard in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Raised on a dairy farm with his three siblings, Randy learned a strong work ethic working on both the family farm and a neighboring farm.
After graduating from Meadville High School in 1956, he was a parts salesman at a Ford dealership. He married Rebecca ‘Becky’ Moffit of Meadville. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1959 and served first as a helicopter mechanic.
While at Turner AFB, Randy received an assignment to support the helicopters used in the installation of satellite dishes in Venezuela for NASA. Randy was accepted into and attended Officer Candidate School in 1961, going on to flight school after being commissioned as a 2nd LT.
His first station in 1963 after earning his pilot wings and training on the C-130 was at Charleston AFB flying several search and rescue missions. After training on the C-123, Randy took part in the operations during the occupation of the Dominican Republic.
Randy went to Vietnam in 1966-67 flying C-123s as part of Operation Ranch Hand. He was one of the many who flew Patches, on display at Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum.
He was then assigned to Sembach AFB and Ramstein AFB in Germany flying C-130s. While at Ramstein, his squadron (7th SOS) was selected to participate in the Son Tay Prison Raid on Nov 21, 1970. Randy was one of the pilots on the lead C-130 (call sign Cherry 1). This C-130 is on display at Cannon AFB, New Mexico.
His last duty assignment was at Bergstrom AFB, from where he retired from the Air Force with 20 years of service. He served his country with honor and distinction, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross with an Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with 10 Oak Leaf clusters and the Silver Star.
He started a new career as a commercial pilot flying until retiring in 2001. He then started to work with Heidi as a Tupperware Distributor.
Randy and Heidi married Dec. 26, 1987, and they moved to Friendswood.
Randy could build and fix most things. He would find a way. He loved to garden, sharing the bounty with neighbors, traveling, music, history, genealogy, telling jokes, playing pickleball and spending time with friends and family.
Randy was preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Helen; parents-in-law, Heinz and Maria Marotz; brother, Kenny Custard; sister-in-law, Sally Custard; brothers-in-law, Ernie Oakes and Richard Beckman.
Randy will forever be loved and remembered by his wife, Heidi (Ovalle). He is also survived by son, Randy and Sharon Custard of Round Rock, and their sons, Matthew and Brad; daughter, Kathy Custard of Thrall, and her son Ricky Towery; daughter, Christina and Major Robert Curtis (USAF, retired) of Richmond, Virginia, and their daughters Sarah Curtis, and Rebecca and Ryan Groth; son, Brian Custard and Colonel Rhonda Jahns (ANG, retired) of New Braunfels, and their children Adam and Juana Custard, Josh and Kaitlinn Johnson, Emmalee Custard, Jenea and Louis Britton, Alex Jahns, and Allison Jahns; son, Douglas Custard of Thrall; daughter, Tina and Richard Smith of Pasadena, and their children Ashley Palacios, Jennifer and Brandon Swate, and Alex Palacios and fiancé Ashley Mendoza; son, Robert and Michele Ovalle of San Antonio, and their children Robbie and Aubrey Ovalle; sisters, Janet Oakes of Meadville, and Betty Beckman of Tulsa, Oklahoma; 12 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Life will be held June 5, from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Hanger, 901 Buckingham in Friendswood. Randy will be laid to rest with Military Funeral Honors at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Cancer Society.