IRVINGTON—Randal Morgan Tyler—Randy to most—passed away in his Irvington home on January 8. He was 68.
He is survived by his loving mother, Constance Morgan Miller of Irvington; his sister and friend, Bonnie Tyler Spradling of Asheville, N.C., and her husband, Tom; two nephews, Jason Tyler Brannon of Charlotte, N.C., and Matthew Todd Brannon of Wake Forest, N.C. and their wives, Kristi and Stacey; and five grand-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Harold Norwood “Sonny” Tyler Jr.; stepfather, John W. Miller; brother-in-law, Russell Paul Brannon; and aunt, Miriam T. Sample.
Randy was born on September 26, 1952, and raised in Richmond. He attended Huguenot High School before heading to Virginia Tech to study architecture. It was in Blacksburg—and designing sets, not buildings—that he discovered his life’s passion: the theater.
After college, this passion carried him from New York City, where he studied playwriting and acting at the HB Studio and served as prop master at Manhattan’s Public Theatre; to Key West and the Tennessee Williams Theater; to New Jersey community theatre and a starring role as Judas in Godspell; and finally, back home to Virginia. It was here in the Tidewater area that he spent the final and perhaps most rewarding three decades of his life as one of the driving forces behind the Lancaster Players in White Stone.
Over a career spanning nearly 50 years, Randy wrote 11 plays and three screenplays, including the first theatrical production of the novel, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and the stage adaptation of the novel, Séance On A Wet Afternoon. He acted in and directed numerous plays, and even wrote the musical revue “Martini” for the Players’ stage. But his most recently written play, “From Adam,” debuted on stage in 2018, was unique to his career as it was the most collaborative work he had ever done.
Randy lived life with a style and flair that truly made him one-of-a-kind. On his business card he listed “Real Estate Marketing, Actor, Director, Designer, and Playwright,” but he was much more than that. He loved a good movie, music, good food and drink, and perhaps most of all—a good time. If laughter is the best medicine, then add “doctor” to his long list of roles.
While the dozens of on-stage performances and wide variety of roles he created and portrayed have given birth to limitless memories for those fortunate enough to experience them, Randy will be remembered by those who knew him in much simpler terms: son, brother, uncle, friend. Randy was loved by many and will be missed by all. We have lost “A Man for All Seasons.”
A gathering to celebrate Randy’s life will be held later this summer when the weather and the world both settle down. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in his name to the Lancaster Players, a community theater near and dear to his heart, at PO Box 731, White Stone, VA 22578.