East County woman honored for decades of church music
A 90-year-old woman with a talent for music received an award for her 14 years of service to a local church.
Geraldine Randol received the Distinguished Service Award from her pastor, Jamie Snodgrass, during a ceremony Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Springwater Church of the Nazarene, 3445 S.E. Hillyard Road.
"Geraldine has supported the ministry of the church through her ministry in music," Snodgrass said. "Not only has she faithfully played the piano for our worship services for 14 years, but has led special monthly sing-a-longs and most importantly spent hours in prayer daily for the church."
Randol moved into the Rockwood neighborhood in the mid-1940s, where her family attended the Gresham Assembly of God on Kelly Street. Even as a youngster she filled in at the church piano whenever there was a vacancy. Eventually that passion morphed into a full-time position as the church pianist.
She was also a vocalist, often singing duets with a young man, Richard Detherage, who would eventually become her husband in 1951. The newlyweds moved to Boring and transferred church membership to the Sandy Assembly of God.
After Detherage's death in 1985, Randol eventually remarried 18 years later. Her husband Herb Randol agreed to begin hosting monthly sing-a-longs in their Damascus home. Upon his death, those sing-a-longs moved to various local churches, before finding a home at Sandy Church of the Nazarene.
In April, the Sandy Church of the Nazarene merged with Springwater Church of the Nazarene in Gresham. At that time Randol took a step back from her heavy involvement with the church music scene.
"The Springwater church has many talented musicians, so taking a step back after the merger seemed natural," said Randol, who turned 90 last month.
But Randol not only got an award last month, but also an ongoing open invitation.
"The piano remains open to Geraldine whenever she'd like to play, or just provide some music before the start of the service," Snodgrass said.
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