Dr. Randy Mark Feldman
RANDY FELDMAN – Obituary – March 23, 1953- March 3, 2021
“I asked God to give me everything so that I could enjoy life.
But instead, God gave me life so that I could enjoy everything” – Dr. Randy Feldman
DR. RANDY FELDMAN – a helper, a doer, a distinguished and dedicated business and community leader, a philanthropist, a servant to his patients, and a loving husband, father, and friend – peacefully passed away Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. He was 67 years old.
Randy was born March 23, 1953, in Toledo, Ohio, (“he was just a simple boy from a small town”) but claimed Columbus, Ohio, as his childhood home. As an alumnus of “Thee” Ohio State University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, he received multiple advanced degrees and training certificates in dentistry and orthodontics. After completing his educational pursuits, he headed to the Tampa Bay area, where he began his nearly 40-year journey into orthodontics, entrepreneurship, and service to the community. Randy built up two successful practices, most recently Blue Wave Orthodontics, while serving as an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Plastic Surgery at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. As a stalwart of innovation in his industry, the fluoridation efforts to the Tampa Bay water supply were due to Randy’s leadership and ingenuity. Also, entrepreneurial endeavors pervaded Randy’s life, with successful investments in restaurants, as a boxing promoter, and pioneering healthcare initiatives. His perseverance and dedication to his craft led to numerous awards, including the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, the South Tampa Chamber Business of the Year, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hillsborough County Dental Association.
A tireless advocate for the less fortunate, Randy was a man who made service an integral part of his lifestyle. Randy logged thousands of hours of volunteer service working pro bono to fight cranial-facial congenital disabilities on Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital's surgical staff and provided dental and orthodontic care to patients who otherwise would not have received treatment. Concurrently, he supported and held positions and leadership roles on the boards of numerous charities, such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 13 Ugly Men, Voices for Children, Guardian Ad Litem, and More Health, Inc. Randy felt service to others was its own reward; however, his ongoing selfless good deeds and tireless activism garnered him many accolades. The Tampa Bay Lightning organization honored Randy as its 152nd Community Hero, an accomplishment worn close to his heart, with a Tampa Bay Lightning Bolt logo pin ever-present on his lapel. He often said his favorite number was the number 8 because that is how many letters “Superman” has in it, and indeed, he was a real-life superhero to the many people he helped throughout his life and career.
Many who knew him would also say that Randy was the type of person who didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk. When he entered a room, it was surprising that the song ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ wouldn’t instantly start playing as the soundtrack for his life, as he made everyone feel important, involved, and included. A loyal and devoted friend to many, he lived the mantra, “I’m not sure if you’re my best new friend or new best friend.” As much as people knew hanging out with him could maybe end in a night of a killer hangover, he was the type of man that people would drive 16 hours at the drop of a dime to come to see. A pugilist in life and business, he lived 1000 years in the 67 calendar years we had with him because he attacked life; he grabbed it by the lapels, kissed it (MUAH!), and swung it back onto the dance floor. He was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important — the simplicity of living a life with those you love.
He was at his happiest with his wife and soulmate, Kelly. Together with Lola, their “half Chewish” French bulldog, they enjoyed many outings on their golf cart or Vespa in their matching visors and attending social gatherings around town, mostly in support of charitable causes. A lifelong logophile and learner, Randy was a voracious reader who also loved to be a teacher and often shared his wealth of knowledge about topics ranging from current events, quantum chemistry, and the merits of Ohio State football. (OH!) Frequently mistaken for his generations’ Jack Sparrow, Randy obliged as Tampa’s honorary Pirate for many years as a proud member of the Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla (YMKG).
Randy is survived by his beloved wife of 17 years, Kelly; their children, Dr. Adam Feldman, Chelsie Poffenberger (Crossen), Dalton Feldman; their French Bulldog, Lola Diamond Bling Coco Chewnel Feldman (aka Lady Lola); his Aunt Sandy and Uncle Ray November, sisters Wendi (Bobby) Shapiro and Kristi (Tom) Meredith as well as a multitude of nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues who all loved him dearly. He is preceded in death by his parents, Herbert and Toni Feldman, his niece Beth Shapiro, and Nole, his special rescue pup.
Gone too soon from this life, Randy often said, “to be early was to be on time, to be on time was to be late.” This is one time that we wish the clocks were wrong, but in the true spirit of Randy, he would want us to “be well.” Randy was extraordinary at making people feel special, to find the light within ourselves, within our society, the gifts that make each of us unique: not star power, not intellectual prowess, but the ineffable mystery and extraordinary beauty of the simple human heart. To honor his legacy, family and close friends will gather on March 23, 2021 for a memorial service followed by a celebration of life. Due to COVID regulations, the services and celebration will be private, however both will be streamed live at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6NiT0KSXYs
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Randy’s honor to the Dr. Randy Feldman Fund at More Health, Inc. More Health is a non-profit organization that Randy helped to found and served many years as the Board Chairman. The organization aims to provide innovative lessons to empower students and their families to make healthy and safe decisions for their well-being. To donate: https://www.morehealthinc.org/feldman/
In addition, a Foundation will be established in Randy’s name to provide continued funding for the Cleft and Craniofacial program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.