Obituary Details

Randy Vestal

July 10, 1950 - April 1, 2020

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Notes

Randy Vestal, 69, of Raleigh, NC, died on April 1, 2020 at hospice after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Greensboro, NC on July 10, 1950 and is the son of the late, Bill and Ethel Vestal.

Randy grew up in Greensboro, NC and graduated from Grimsley High School. After high school he attended Lenoir Rhyne College and received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. Upon completion, he undertook post graduate studies in medicinal chemistry at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Tarheels!). His love of science led him to a full career in the pharmaceutical industry where he joined Burroughs Wellcome as a research chemist, later moving into project planning and regulatory affairs. After Burroughs Wellcome, Randy worked in regulatory consulting with companies in the US and the UK and retired as a Vice President of Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs for a biotech company in England.

Randy married Jenny Vestal on December 8, 2000 in Harpenden, England and they lived in the UK for 11 years before relocating to Raleigh, NC in 2010. During this period Randy and Jenny enjoyed frequent travel within Europe, with their favorite destination being Paris, France. They visited Paris at least once a year for 10 years, making sure they always visited their favorite restaurants and had dinner cruises on the River Seine.

Over the years Randy enjoyed a number of hobbies that fed his scientific and technical passions. His lifelong enthusiasm for model railroads extended from early Lionel trains to building a highly complex HO Scale model layout of the Triangle Region in his home. This allowed him to combine his interest in mechanical, electrical and construction engineering with sophisticated electronic circuitry and components. He amassed a collection of over 100 engines and thousands of rail cars. Another longstanding interest was his love of photography including building his own dark rooms early on before moving into digital photography. He particularly enjoyed sports, nature, birds and unique architecture. On the trips to Paris, Randy and Jenny walked miles around the city capturing images of the beauty, character, and history of their favorite city.

Randy also loved cooking, especially on the grill (the Big Green Egg was his favorite) and would often blend his own dry rubs and sauces to perfect the flavor profile. The freezers were always full with huge batches of classics like chili and bolognaise. He loved catering for big holiday meals and get togethers. In addition to cooking, Randy was an avid Mo Town music fan and in his younger years enjoyed rocking out on the drums and was in the marching band at Lenoir-Rhyne.

Like most boys, Randy had a love affair with firetrucks and the fire department. He always had at least one radio scanner tuned in to the local fire service dispatch. When he visited the grocery stores he would often see local firefighters and always engaged them in conversation and thanked them for their service to our community.

He is survived by his wife, Jenny and his three sons, David (Melissa) of Cary, NC, Dennis of Greenville, NC and Doug (Lindsey) of Paris, France and stepsons Daniel (Sara) of Cheshire, England and Gareth (Charlotte) of Hertfordshire, England. He is also survived by his 10 grandchildren, Kyleigh Vestal, Carter Vestal, Chloe Vestal, Blake Vestal, Courtni Chapin, Tyler Chapin, Maddie Vestal, Marley Vestal, Avery Vestal, Liam Vestal.

A private service will be held for immediate family and close friends. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Randy to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, https://www.lustgarten.org/.

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