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Harry W. Randall ’37

Harry W. Randall Jr. ’37, November 10, 2012, in Snowflake, Arizona. Harry grew up in Oregon, the eldest of three children, in a family that was musically inclined; he played both piano and clarinet. In his teens, he developed an interest in radio and film and became a ham radio operator. When Harry entered Reed, fascism was spreading from Germany and Italy to Spain. At Reed he developed a political awareness and lent support to West Coast labor and lumber strikes. After a year, he quit college and joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade volunteers, arriving in Spain in July 1937. He was put in charge of the Photographic Unit of the XV International Brigade and contributed significantly to documenting the Spanish Civil War. His primary task was to take photos for the Brigade’s newsletter, Volunteer for Liberty, but he also provided photos for newspapers and did general soldiering. After volunteers withdrew from Spain, Harry returned to the U.S. with film archives in tow. He later donated the unit’s photos, approximating 1,800 images, to the Tamiment Library at New York University. Harry and his first wife, Alice, lived in Montreal, where he built a house and worked for the Canadian Film Board. He enlisted in the Canadian army during World War II and served in England making newsreels with the Film and Photo Unit. After the war, Harry and Alice relocated to New York City, where Alice’s family lived; she died four years later. Harry worked in film production in New York and remained close to Alice’s family. He met his second wife, Doreen, through mutual friends. Doreen was working for an airline in order to see New York City on her way from a nursing stint in Ohio to her home in England. After they married, Harry and Doreen moved to New Jersey, where they lived for 40 years. Harry worked in medical film production for the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. They had two daughters and worked tirelessly for the rights of residents, parents, and staff of the developmental center where their younger daughter resided. Harry enjoyed bicycling, hiking, and camping, and maintained a lifelong association with the Unitarian Church. Survivors include two daughters and a granddaughter. Doreen died in April 2012.

Appeared in Reed magazine: March 2013

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