Randy Lee Abernathy passed away on Sunday, May 21, 2023, at the age of 66 to “go see Jesus” as he would say.
Randy was born in Union City and attended Union City High School. He married his high school sweetheart, Claudette, in 1978 at First Methodist Church. They welcomed their son, Shane Lee, in 1981. Randy remained in Union City for the majority of his life, a place he loved and where he kept friendships that have lasted a lifetime. He spent his last few years in Knoxville to be close to Shane and his family.
Randy’s happiest times were those spent as Dad, Husband, “G” (grandfather) and Uncle. He found joy in riding his Harley, fishing on the lake, sitting by his pond and tinkering in his shed. He was meticulous in everything he did and could fix anything. He was strong, quiet, kind, but wild at heart. Stories about Randy often include him outrunning the police, either on his Harley or in a navy blue TransAm.
Randy met hardship with love and kindness. He never raised his voice and was forgiving beyond necessity. He loved his family, friends and God above all. Randy rode with the wind and lived a full life. There aren’t words to capture how much he will be missed.
Randy was preceded in death by his parents, Russell Abernathy and Maureen Woodruff; and in-laws, Claud and Jerry Miller. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Claudette Miller Abernathy; son, Shane Abernathy (Kaley); grandchildren, Finn Abernathy and Wiley Abernathy; brother, Russell “Tootie” Abernathy (Carol); sister, Lisa Jo Woodruff; sister-in-law, Anne Miller Reeves (Barry); nephew, Adam Reeves (Melissa); niece. Ashley Reeves Overwyk (Ben); great-niece, Georgia Overwyk; and great-nephews, Hudson, Griffin and Cooper.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 10 at 11 a.m. at Union City Community Bible Church, 1413 South Home St., Union City, with a Celebration of Life reception to follow in the fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Restore Life USA, 310 Cherokee Park Drive, Elizabethton, TN 37643; The MSA Coalition, that performs research to advance the treatment of Multi-Symptom Atrophy Parkinson’s disease, 1660 International Drive, Suite 600, McLean, VA; or the Union City Community Bible Church.
Published in The Messenger 5.24.23
Randy was a dear close friend off mine and I have ridden hundreds of miles with him and his wonderful brother Tootie. As we age and slow down as our bodies start to fail we look at life different than we did as young healthy men. We think more of how much we have been blessed throughout our lives. We think of our family and our grandchildren and great grandchildren who bring us so much happiness. We look at our partner in life and finally know the full meaning of love and just how much we need each other now more than ever in life. I know Randy suffered with a disease that he never imagined he would have in life. He fought it as best he could and he had his wonderful wife beside him to love and comfort him and give him reason to keep fighting. I will miss him dearly and I give Claudett my sincerest sympathy. Rest in God’s Kingdom my friend, I will see you again very soon.