Randolph Butler DeNeal Sr. affectionately known as “Buddy, Bud, Uncle Buddy and Baldy” began his earthly life on May 2, 1925 in Front Royal, Virginia. He was born to James DeNeal and Leslie P. Alsberry DeNeal. Buddy was one of seven children and the last surviving. His siblings included James (Tate), Carter, Naomi (Sister), Evelyn (Vira), Thelma (Bambi) and Velonda (Lonnie).
Buddy served in the United States Navy during WWII. He joined the Navy and began active duty on October 4, 1943. He was honorably discharged on May 15, 1946. Upon his return to Front Royal Buddy went to work in the kitchen at Randolph Macon Academy. That may be where he learned to make his onion sandwiches or his much loved fried potatoes on the grill. Buddy also worked at Camp Strawderman, Marshall Motors and Jack Evans Chevrolet. Buddy retired from Jack Evans on January 1, 1992 after having worked there for a little over 16 years.
Buddy married the love of his life, Helena P. Pines on March 18, 1950. The ceremony was in Front Royal, VA and performed by Rev. Thomas Proctor. This union lasted nearly 61 years until Helena’s death on January 22, 2011. I guess you could say Buddy took his vows seriously, especially the part until death do us part. Only two months passed between their deaths. This marriage was blessed with three children, Demetria (Dee), Cynthia (Cindy) and Randolph Jr. (Randy).
In his younger years, Buddy played in a band called “The Solid Senders.” Buddy was the trumpet and later drum player. Buddy had a great love for music. Later in life he sang in the Echoes of Joy Community Choir for the Festival of Leaves. Buddy was a member of the Cavalier Club. He often attended Williams Chapel CME Church. In his retirement years, Buddy was most popularly known as a chauffeur, “Driving Miss Helena” back and forth to work. You could also find him hanging around the shop at Jack Evans or sneaking his great grandkids off to get some ice cream or play at the park. He spent time with his sister Lonnie every day. Just checking up on her to make sure she was ok. He loved spending time with his family and always made family gatherings fun with his off the wall jokes and tricks. A quarter was always close at hand to impress the children with his magic. And his camera too…even though most of the time he cut off people’s heads.
Buddy leaves behind to cherish his memory, his three children Dee, Cindy and Randy and daughter in law Loretta. Seven grandchildren Andre, Darrell Sr. (Catina), Randolph III (Teddy) and Tanisha DeNeal, Stacy Davis (Matthew), Lacoske Fitzhugh and Leslie Hecker. Fifteen great grandchildren Adrian, Cameron, Keyona, Darrell Jr. (DJ), Mirage, Kori and Aniyah DeNeal, Kwame DeNeal-Finley, Braylon Davis, Darion and Taneka Fitzhugh, Kajuan and Tayjon Gaskins, and Ryan and Keri Hecker. Two great great grandchildren Nehemiah Ryan-Gaskins and McKenzie Moore-Gaskins. One sister in law Camilla and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Waiting in Heaven for Buddy with his parents James and Leslie, were his loving wife Helena. Sisters Naomi, Velonda, Thelma and Evelyn. Brothers James and Carter. Brother in laws Lyn, Charles and Otha.
We will all miss Buddy. His warm smile and pleasant ways. We know that God has a plan for each of us from the time we are born until our death. Buddy’s plan has been fulfilled. His work on earth is done. Rest on dear dad, granddad, brother in law, uncle and friend. God has another trumpet player in His band. Well done.