Mackey Funerals and Cremations at Century Drive

311 Century Drive, Greenville, SC


Randall R Cantrell

July 8, 1948November 26, 2019

On the morning of November 26, 2019, Randall Ralph Cantrell, surrounded by his loving wife and two daughters, passed from this world to be with his Lord and Savior. Randy was born July 8, 1948, in Greenville, SC, the son of Ralph Henry Cantrell and Cora Lee Vaughn. He graduated from Wade Hampton High School in 1966 and entered The Citadel, the military college of South Carolina. During his senior year he was selected to be a member of the 1970 Summerall Guards, an elite precision drill platoon. After graduating in 1970, Randy was assigned to Columbus Air Force Base, MS, to enter pilot training as a 2nd Lieutenant. Thus began a thirty year Air Force career, during which he held a variety of positions such as instructor pilot, AOC at the Air Force Academy, and head of the Air Force promotion board, eventually earning the rank of Colonel. He retired from active duty in 2002.

After retirement from the Air Force Randy took a position working at the VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC. However, his penchant for teaching eventually led him to be an Air Force ROTC instructor at Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, NC. He loved working with the young people. His innovative teaching skills kept his students engaged in the process of learning, and he enjoyed watching them grow and develop. In addition, his guidance and direction helped many students change from a negative path in life to a more positive one. After five years of teaching Randy retired to pursue his many interests and to enjoy time with his children and grandchildren.

Randy is preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Dale Lee Cantrell. Surviving are his devoted wife, Lisa; his loving daughters Emlee Cantrell Cuevas and husband Rick, and Aimee Cantrell Hyatt and husband Bob; and his five precious grandchildren Lucas and Sofia Cuevas, and Olivia, Ava, and Nolan Hyatt. Randy had so many exciting adventures planned for the future and so much knowledge left to impart. He was passionate about learning new things and being engaged in life as well as sharing his God-given wisdom with his family and many others. He loved deeply. His presence in our lives is simply irreplaceable, but his spirit lives on in all of us. He was a great man!

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 3 PM at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 7 Shannon Drive, Greenville, SC 29615.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, December 14, 2019, from 2:00 PM until 3:00 PM at the church prior to the service.


  • Ralph Henry Cantrell, Father (deceased)
  • Cora Lee Vaughn, Mother (deceased)
  • Dale Lee Cantrell, Sister (deceased)
  • Lisa Cantrell, Wife
  • Emlee Cantrell Cuevas (Rick), Daughter
  • Aimee Cantrell Hyatt (Bob), Daughter
  • Lucas Cuevas, Grandson
  • Sofia Cuevas, Granddaughter
  • Olivia Hyatt, Granddaughter
  • Ava Hyatt, Granddaughter
  • Nolan Hyatt, Grandson


14 December


2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

14 December

Memorial Service

3:00 pm

Aldersgate United Methodist Church

7 Shannon Drive
Greenville, South Carolina


Randall R Cantrell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Joseph Moran

December 4, 2019

I met Colonel Cantrell relatively recently, and look back fondly on the many hours we spent sitting in the Florida sun, discussing countless topics and issues of the day. He was a kind, accomplished, and erudite man. I was lucky to have met him, and will miss him.

Stephanie Pearson

December 4, 2019

You have forever changed my life. You helped mold me into the person I am today. You were there when I needed a laugh and you were there when high school ripped me down. You always told me 'boys are bad!'.
Some of the best memories I have from high school include you. You and Ms. Lisa always made me feel like family. This world was a better place with you in it. You will be missed, but your memory will live on with every student who's life you have touched and changed for the better.

Beverly Merry

December 4, 2019

Lisa and famly, I am sorry for your loss of Randy. I know he will be greatly missed. He made a difference in so many lives and will be fondly remembered. Prayers to you all.

Kathryn Rogers

December 3, 2019

Col. Cantrell made a lasting difference to so many young people at Ragsdale High School. From the moment I met him, I knew he embodied all the qualities and gifts that our students needed. I loved and appreciated all he selflessly gave to our students and staff. May he watch over all of us as the angel he is.
Dr. Kathryn Rogers, his Principal at Ragsdale.

Tom Gray

December 3, 2019

I had the honor to teach at Ragsdale with Colonel Cantrell. The Colonel was a great man, teacher and leader. I cannot say enough good about him as a person and teacher. His outlook on life and the way he lead young lives made a profound impact on me as well as his students.
I know that he will be profoundly miss by his family and friends.
I was lucky to work with him!

Samantha Cherry

December 3, 2019

Colonel Cantrell changed my life. I was making so many bad decisions I'm not sure I'd be here today if it weren't for his guidance, patience and support. He made me feel seen and heard. His class room was a safe haven. Many JROTC students hung out in his classroom before and after school because we genuinely enjoyed being there. He never spoke to me like I was a child or worth less because I was a teenager. He and Ms. Lisa were always so kind and welcoming. It was a joy to be around them.

One of my favorite memories was when he was close to retiring from teaching JROTC. The group got together in secret and raised money for an REI gift card. The problem was Colonel always knew what was going on. He seemed to have eyes and ears everywhere. In reality we probably weren't very good at keeping secrets but this one seemed to work. It was super hush hush and everyone knew he was likely to find out. At our last awards ceremony the group presented this gift card to him and he seemed genuinely surprised. It was the first time I had seen Colonel Cantrell look caught off guard.

He was one of the best mentors I have ever had and I carry his lessons with me every day. He will never be forgotten by the student who's lives he changed.

Terry Bryan

December 3, 2019

Col. Cantrell has left precious memories with our family. We have never, EVER stumbled across a man so humble and anxious to give of his talents and gifts. We feel blessed to have known him. Prayers and hugs to his wife and family. Thank you Col. Cantrell. We salute you.

Tyler Gilreath

December 3, 2019

Mr. Cantrell was my ROTC Instructor at Ragsdale High School before I graduated in 2012. He’ll truly be missed. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers. SIP Mr. Cantrell!

Jason Barkley

December 3, 2019

You had me as your first group commander at Ragsdale HS for the AFJROTC program. When you came in you stirred alot of the senior cadets as we weren't fawn of the new rules you applied to us. We have you the nickname Colonel PG. Since you have us permission slips to watch movies that were rated PG-13. Though growing until I graduated, you helped me throught my last semester at the high school and allowed me to make wiser decisions by our small talks before class started and even when we did small events.
I appreciate everything you have done for me and may you rest in heaven with the angels.

Sincerely and with love,
Jason Barkley

Carolyn Wagner

December 3, 2019

I’m so very sorry to hear this sad news.
I hope you knew how big of an influence you had on so many young lives, my daughter included. I asked my daughter to join ROTC just one year to honor her dad a retired Air Force msgt . Because of you and your teaching she stayed all 4 years of high school becoming the commander.
You and ms Lisa welcomed all of us like family.
Thank you for the difference you made and the values you instilled in our children.

You truly made a difference.
Thoughts and prayers to Lisa and family. X