Randy Stratton Memorial Fund
Mr. Randy Don Stratton, was born July 12, 1954 in Red Cloud, NE to Donald G. and Velma Stratton.
He was united in holy matrimony to Kathleen Ann on August 18, 1979. The couple were married for 43 years where they moved from Santa Barbara, CA to Colorado Springs and Castle Rock, CO following their daughters and grandchildren.
Randy loved God, his family, coaching basketball and preserving history and the memory of his father. He quietly departed this life Thursday, June 8th, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Velma, sisters Gypsy Dawn and Roxanne Jo and brother Robert. He is survived by his wife Kathy, daughters Jessika Caldwell (Tony), Nikki (fiancé Mike) and grandchildren Emersyn, Bryce and Boden Caldwell.
Randy loved his father, Donald G. Stratton, a USS Arizona Survivor, and made it his mission to protect the legacy of the men of the Arizona. He worked alongside his daughter Nikki to bring honor and recognition to Joe George, the hero that saved Donald and six other men. He devoted years to making phone calls, scouring the internet for documents and research and developed a deep relationship with Joe’s daughter, JoeAnn. Randy committed to bringing Joe George’s heroic act to the forefront and did not quit. Finally, on Dec. 7, 2017, Rear Admiral Matthew Carter, deputy commander of the US Pacific Fleet, presented the Bronze Star with “V” Device for Valor for Chief Boatswain’s Mate Joseph “Joe” L. George to George’s daughter, Joe Ann Taylor, aboard the USS Arizona Memorial. Randy, alongside his father Donald, were able to witness the momentous occasion first hand, a true celebration of an amazing hero.
But Randy didn’t stop there. Until his death, Randy fought to help recognize the USS Arizona sailors who remain unidentified in hopes to restore them back to their families. There are 85 USS Arizona crew members buried as “unknowns” at Punchbowl cemetery in Honolulu and Randy continued his quest with phone calls, petitions and drawing attention to the cause.
Randy loved his family fiercely, didn’t understand the word no, and never took life too seriously. In his pursuit to honor his father and the men of the USS Arizona, this became a cause he took very seriously. The hope of the Stratton family is that pursuit of justice and honor for those that made an ultimate sacrifice will live on through the next generation. Randy truly believed that one person can impact history. He demonstrated that by constantly picking up the phone, not stopping at the word no and continuing to fight for those that went ahead of him. It was out of a deep love for his dad, his dad’s shipmates and the many families that endured grief and heartache on that fateful December 7, 1941.
Donald and Velma Stratton
Randy with his dad Don Stratton
Randy and Don Stratton at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Randy with daughters Jessika and Nikki at Coronado High School
Randy and Nikki at the USS Arizona 803 Nuclear Submarine Keel-Laying Ceremony
In remembrance of Randy, the Stratton family is asking for your support to continue to honor those that have come before by fighting for their stories to be told. The family established a fund with Pacific Historic Parks for donations made in honor of Randy, that will be used for the upkeep of the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor National Memorial visitor center and education programs. Donations received will be applied to these funding programs in honor of Randy.
USS Arizona Survivors at the 75th Anniversary
Lauren Bruner, Lou Conter and Don Stratton
Randy with grandchildren
Emmy, Bryce and Boden Caldwell
Randy and daughter Nikki on
USS Arizona Memorial