Stephen H. Randak
Date of Death: August 23, 2011
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Stephen Helm Randak, 66, of Lafayette, died at 9:40 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, at Indiana University Health Arnett in Lafayette. He was born April 26, 1945, in Chicago, to Dr. Edward F. and Louise McIntyre Randak of Billings, Mont. He received his B.S. biology and psychology in 1967 from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, his…

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Shelbi Fortner left a message on September 2, 2011:
I am so sorry to hear of Steve&s passing. I student taught at Jeff with Joe Ruhl and Dave Hunt in the Spring of 2001. The Biology teachers ate lunch together in the room that Steve, Clare, and Amy shared. I have carried the lessons I learned during those casual lunches with Steve and the other wonderful teachers at Jeff close to my heart in the ten years since. Steve was an incredibly knowledgeable man and a gifted teacher. In recent years, I have shown my own students the videos from the PBS Evolution series and have always delighted in telling my students, ""I used to eat lunch with that guy!"" when Steve was on the screen. His legacy as an educator is tremendous. He has certainly been a blessing to science teachers in Indiana and across the country. May memories of Steve and appreciation for all he accomplished comfort you as you mourn.
Eric Martin left a message on September 1, 2011:
I was terribly saddened to learn of Mr. Randak&s passing. In 1992 I was a student in his 9th grade biology class, and later his science research class at Jefferson High School. He was, quite simply, one of the finest and most dedicated teachers of any subject or grade level I ever met. His lessons continue to inform my worldview today, and I count myself extremely fortunate to have been his student. I also doubt very much that my assessment of Mr. Randak is unique. I, along with many of his former students, will forever be grateful.

I extend my sincerest condolences to the entire Randak family.
Robert Dennison left a message on September 1, 2011:
I simply can&t adequately express my sadness at learning of Steve&s passing and can only imagine the feelings of his family. I know you are proud of the life Steve led and I hope you can be comforted by knowing how much the biology teaching community treasured him and his contributions to our profession and to young people across the country.
Steve was a wonderful friend and colleague. We shared stories and photos from our trips to Galapagos and our experiences in re-enacting the lives of scientists such as Charles Darwin. He was my favorite presenter ever at NABT (and I have attended virtually every conference since 1979) and I am honored to be able to call him my friend.
Steve has been a force for positive change in science education for as long as I can remember. He has influenced teachers across the country through the example he set in his presentations, his writings and his appearances in the media. Through those teachers, Steve has in turn touched the lives of countless biology students. It is humbling to even try to estimate how many students now have a better understanding of biology, and in fact all of science, because their teachers were touched by Steve. And of course he personally taught many, many students in his long career. All of us, those teachers and students alike, are better for having known Steve. We will miss Steve Randak for a very long time, but please know that his legacy will continue to touch the future well beyond our lifetimes.
I will be making a donation to the National Center for Science Education in Steve&s honor.
Sincerely,
Robert Dennison
Ashley Alspaugh left a message on August 30, 2011:
Sending my thoughts and prayers to the family of Mr. Randak. He was a wonderful teacher. I will always remember his ability to write upside down on dry erase boards while teaching with ease. He was very proud of that. :)
Tamara Zahn left a message on August 29, 2011:
My prayers and thoughts are with all of you. While I didn&t know Steve, his mom, dad and sister Kim hold a very, very special place in my heart. And so my love and respect expand to surround Linda, Shannon, Jodie, Mark, Mathew, and Jon as well as Coby and Mark. The Randak family&s caring ways provided a lasting and happy impression. I pray that you find peace and warmth in your memories.

Tamara (tami) Zahn
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Patsye Peebles left a message on August 29, 2011:
I am so sorry to hear about Steve. I knew him through NABT and enjoyed my association with him. He was a great teacher and a great person. My thoughts are with you all.
Janette Jaques left a message on August 28, 2011:
I had Mr. Randak for freshman biology at Jeff high school in 1992. He was one of my favorite teachers, and I have many memories about his class. Of course, I remember the giant snake he kept in his classroom. But, I also remember his enthusiasm for teaching and his commitment to us students. I was saddened to hear of his passing, and I hope his family can take comfort in knowing his spirit lives on in the students who were fortunate enough to have Mr. Randak as their teacher.
John Wibbens left a message on August 28, 2011:
Linda & Family:

I realize that it is redundant for me to mention the amount of inspiration Steve supplied to all of his fellow Biology educators... you have all heard this countless times but I feel that it is important for me to add my commentary. As my own career has unfolded, my long term contact with Steve and his multitude of exploits adding to his biological background created a benchmark which the rest of us would attempt to emulate. Above and beyond that, his effects have been multiplied thousands of times as his students and the students of those he inspired move forward with a greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world around them. You all have my sincerest sympathy and rest assured that the world of Biology education is diminished by the loss of Steve&s input yet infinitely augmented by his everlasting impact.
Larry Flammer left a message on August 28, 2011:
I?ve only had a few fleeting times with Steve. Those were at NABT conferences where ENSI Lead Teachers met to share and discuss their SENSI experiences. I also attended at least one of Steve?s NABT workshops ? the one where he shared his use of the Laetoli trackway. It was so impressive that I used his material to adapt his ?Footsteps in Time? lesson for the ENSI website. This has been one of the most popular lessons on the site. For example, there?s a semi-retired professor who works with underprivileged students (and elders) in villages and cities in South Africa, and the Footsteps lesson is his centerpiece! Another teacher, in Texas, holds summer workshops for teachers, every year, using the Footsteps lesson. I have spent many hours over the past several years copying, cutting apart, and sending copies of the Laetoli trackway to teachers who took his class ? and for many other interested teachers requesting the trackway. Each request fulfilled was another reminder of Steve?s genius.

Steve was willing to be my webmaster backup in case I couldn?t continue managing the site, so we did correspond a bit about that. I looked forward to working more closely with him after his retirement so he could get used to the labor-of-love ?job? of managing the site, but, alas, that will never happen. And it hasn?t been easy finding an ENSI-trained Lead Teacher to take on that task. I know this tiny ?personal loss? for me doesn?t begin to match the deep loss to his wife, family, friends and colleagues. Steve left us all much too soon. But the richness of his high quality and creative teaching has certainly touched many people ? certainly his students over the years, but also the many teachers that he touched, who will pass along at least some of Steve?s enthusiasm for life to all of their students ? and that is at least part of his legacy. I?m very happy that the seven lessons he developed, adapted and contributed to the ENSI collection (a couple in collaboration with fellow ENSI teachers) will continue to be available, on the ENSI site, for teachers all over the world to use ? another part of Steve?s legacy. We can only imagine what his future gifts to teaching might have been.

Steve will be greatly missed.

Larry Flammer
ENSI webmaster
San Jose, CA
Rick Conrad left a message on August 27, 2011:
Jodie and Atlee,
I&m so sorry to have heard about Stephen&s passing. No words can possibly comfort you at this time but please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Rick
Barbara Hamrick left a message on August 26, 2011:
I understand what your going through now, just know we love and care about you.You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, especially during the coming days. May God wrap his arms around you and give you comfort., knowing Steve is at peace and with our Father. love you, Barb and family.
Kessek & Norma left a message on August 26, 2011:
Dear Linda and Family,
Our hearts, love and prayers go out to you.
Steven was a wonderfum person, husband ,
father and grandfather. All of our family are
thinking of you and yours.

Family of Uncle Peck and Aunt Edna
Russ and Carol Seats, Aunt Donna left a message on August 26, 2011:
Linda;

You are in our thoughts and prayers at this time. So sorry for your loss.

Sending our love
Aunt Donna, Carol and Russ
Carol (Hosler) and Russ Seats and left a message on August 26, 2011:
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Eric Wetzel left a message on August 26, 2011:
From All of Us in the Biology Department at Wabash College --
So sorry to hear of Steve&s passing. Having interacted with him a few times at Wabash College over the last 15 years, I was always amazed and impressed with his love and devotion of teaching, as well as his thirst for continued learning. I always learned something about biology and teaching when with him. I know that he was a great lover of his family and students and am confident he will be missed dearly. His teaching legacy alone will continue to thrive for years to come. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with you. -- Eric Wetzel
Soller-Baker Funeral Homes, Inc. left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
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