On Feb. 21, 2017, Randy Schleis of Rainier, Washington, had unexpected complications to an outpatient heart procedure. He spent more than two weeks in critical care at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington, and fought valiantly to spend time with family and friends before his death on March 10, 2017.
Expressions of sympathy may be shared at funeralalternatives.org. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rainier Community Cares at rainiercares.org.
Randall Leroy Schleis was born Feb. 28, 1953 in Sioux City, Iowa, to parents Walter Schleis and Iola Heiden. He graduated from high school in 1971 from Gehlen Catholic School in Le Mars, Iowa. Randy joined the USAF in April 1972 and served 20 years with one tour of duty in Vietnam and active duty during Desert Shield, Storm and Calm. He was an Air Force recruiter for five years and a security supervisor for 15 years, to include serving as Robins Air Force Base SWAT team leader.
Randy was a living example of heroism as he protected and served his country, community and family.
He served his community as a volunteer firefighter, a reserve officer with the Olympia Police Department, and Rainier’s chief of police (1993-99) and mayor (2010-17). Randy loved the Nisqually Valley and its residents, and was actively involved in Rainier schools and Rainier Community Cares.
He was instrumental in building Rainier’s Veterans’ Memorial Park, involved in the LEOFF Retirement Board, Thurston County Emergency Management planning to include working with the 62nd Medical Brigade, and recently worked to recognize Rainier as the second Purple Heart City in Washington.
Randy worked at All Star/Mullinax Ford as an IT manager for more than 10 years, retiring in 2015. He enjoyed reading, softball, fishing, camping, church, country and bluegrass music, and was a brilliant storyteller.
Survivors include his wife, Kathie Schleis of Rainier, Washington; daughters Linda Addy (Cameron) of Portland, Oregon and Jennifer Corn (Bryan) of Newberg, Oregon; grandchildren Ella, Wilson, and Vera; brother Mike Schleis (Heidi) of Le Mars, Iowa; sister Shelly Schmitz of Struble, Iowa; in-laws Lynda Hollinger, Myrna Beckwith (Frank), Sandy Ketchum (Verle), and Candy (Doug) Morgan; and many loved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother Iola (1953), brother Brian (1989), father-in-law Darrell (1985), father Walter (1997), mother Berniece (2014), and mother-in-law Kate (2014).
Randy was honorable, kind, clumsy, funny, wise and an earnest example of how we can all make a difference if we live life with a serving heart. While his physical heart struggled with a disease, his giving heart beats in his family, friends and community of Thurston County.