Randall Gene Weitzel, 68, of Bedford, died Monday, March 11, 2019, at the Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh after a brief illness.
Randy (Rudy to some of his friends) was born Sept. 24, 1950, in Altoona, and was the son of the late Marjorie (Holland) Weitzel Bowser and the late Richard Weitzel. He was raised by Marjorie and the late Donald Bowser, whom Randy loved and admired. He loved the farm in Salemville where he grew up and the life it gave his family.
Randy is survived by his children: son, Randy Jr. and his wife, Bridget; and daughter, Carmen, from his first marriage to Patricia (Dodson) Lorenzen; son, Cody Marshall and wife, Bryanna; and daughter, Alexandria Lazor and husband, Travis, from his second marriage to Renee Spalla; and granddaughter, Weslyn Marshall.
Randy leaves behind his newly formed family of fianceé, Vicky (Ferry) Defibaugh; son, Ryan Eagleson; great-granddaughter, Layla Eagleson; and great-grandson, Liam Eagleson. Also left behind are siblings: Dick Weitzel and his wife, Barb; Terry Weitzel and his wife, Joy; Denise Dowhower and her husband, Brad; and Donald Luke Bowser; as well as four nieces and three nephews: Christopher, Ben, Rebecca, Bryanna, Natalie, Carlita and Derek, all whom he loved dearly. Roxie, his favorite English Setter will forever miss him also.
Randy graduated in 1968 from Northern Bedford High School, was drafted into the Army, and served in the Army National Guard for six years, as a Scout in Troop G. Randy was a career lineman. He began as a young man working for Blattenberger General Contracting in Martinsburg. Later, he moved to Indiana, Pa. where he completed 42 years of dedicated service. After 13 years at Blattenberger, and 29 at REA in Indiana, he retired in 2012. He always loved his job and the guys he worked with.
Building his first muzzleloader at age 26, Randy quickly became an exceptionally accomplished artisian. As his skills grew, crafting guns quickly became an obsessive hobby, and he was mentored by the late Joseph Sevitts and the late Al Semenek. Later, he mentored anyone interested in learning the skill. He voraciously studied the art of all antique muzzleloaders, but especially found his passion in the Bedford County Muzzleloader, dedicating any free-time he could to honing his talent. Second to none in his chosen art form, he built 87 muzzleloader rifles and 9 muzzleloader pistols, all one of a kind pieces with phenomenal artistry and craftsmanship. At his death, he had a waiting list of 17 more guns to be made. Randy was also an accomplished author on the subject of this art, and was published in multiple magazines and journals over the years.
A memorial service will be held at the New Enterprise Church of the Brethren, (3715 Brumbaugh Rd. New Enterprise, PA 16664), on Saturday, March 16, with Pat Crawford officiating. Anyone wishing to pay their respects is welcome to do so from 10 to 11 a.m. at the church before the service.
The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, contributions in Randy’s name can be made to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation at bafound.org. Arrangements by Weaver Funeral Home, LLC (weaversfh.com); Woodbury.