Randolph Warner Church Jr. "Ranny", age 85, died on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville after a long struggle with Parkinson's Disease. Born in Richmond, Virginia, on November 6, 1934, he was the oldest son of the late Randolph Warner Church Sr. and the late Elizabeth Lewis Gochnauer Church. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond in 1953 where he played on the state championship tennis team. He was also active in the Boy Scouts, earning the rank of Eagle Scout. In 1957 he received a B.A. with honors in political science from the University of Virginia. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, the Raven Society and T.I.L.K.A. He lettered in tennis and in 1957 was the University's lightweight intramural boxing champion. He was Sports Editor of the Cavalier Daily, Editor of the Virginia Spectator, and Managing Editor of the Virginia Law Weekly. In 1960, he received an LL.B. From the University of Virginia and joined the Fairfax firm, McCandlish, Lillard, Marsh & Van Dyck, in which he became a partner in 1963. He served as Managing Partner from 1972 until 1983. In 1984, he became a partner in the Richmond law firm Hunton & Williams and with four other lawyers opened its Northern Virginia office where he served as Managing Partner until his retirement in 1999. Ranny was active in civic affairs, serving on the Board of Visitors of George Mason University from 1982 until 1990 and as its Rector from 1983 until 1986. He was a member of the board of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and its executive committee and served as its general counsel. He was on the boards of the Symphony's foundation, Virginia FREE, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Foundation. From 1994 until 2000 he was a member of the Board of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, serving as its Vice President. In 1999 he brought together several interests to create "Fall for the Book," a major Virginia book festival, now in its 21st year. He was its first president, and remained on the board until 2018. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Parkinson's Foundation of the Metropolitan D.C. Area and was treasurer of that organization from 2012 until 2014. He served on the board of George Mason Bankshares, Inc. and its subsidiaries, George Mason Bank and George Mason Mortgage Company. In 1985 his social fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon gave him an award as an outstanding alumnus. He was also a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. Ranny's publications include Appellate Civil Litigation Charlottesville, 1984, Randolph Warner Church 1907-1984 A Sketch, Pembroke Gochnauer 1841-1919. A Southern Soldier's Story, This Our Life, a view of America 1863-1924, and Travels With Ran On the Road with Ranny Church 1956-2016. Ranny will be remembered as a Renaissance man: intelligent, knowledgeable, literate, athletic, and social. He is survived by his devoted wife of nearly 50 years, Lucy Canary Church. Together they worked in many political and cultural activities, particularly in support of the arts and George Mason University where they endowed two scholarships. They shared a love of college basketball, football and travel, visiting every continent and more than 110 countries. Additional survivors include their daughter, Leslie Pennell Mark of Cincinnati, Ohio; three grandchildren; Ranny's two brothers, John Armistead Church Phyllis of Princeton Junction, N.J., and Marshall Robbins Church Priscilla Hoobler of Philomath Ore.; and a sister, Mary Armistead Church Kent Joe of Richmond. A memorial celebration of Ranny's life will be held at a later date, and his ashes will be placed in the Columbarium at the University of Virginia Cemetery.
Church Jr., Randolph Warner