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Randall “Randy” Keith Maroney
January 19, 1949 - January 27, 2023
Randy lived an extraordinary life. For twenty years he served his country with vital, strategic hands-on contributions. His efforts have undeniably reduced fatalities and injuries of our service men and women. In addition, in later life he ignored debilitating, physical limitations to be a driving, personal force in the creation of a powerful and effective prison ministry. His family is so proud of him.
He was the second son of five children born to Harold and Erma Jean Maroney in Wichita Falls, Texas. He graduated from Tidehaven High School, El Maton, Texas in 1967, much to the relief of his principal. Randy was a mischievous and challenging student. He enlisted in the US Navy in June of 1968, and six months later married his high school sweetheart, Sandi Blackwood of Bay City, Texas on December 22nd of that same year.
The Navy, quickly recognizing his potential, nominated Randy to their Navy Enlisted Scientific Education Program (NESEP), designed to allow select enlisted personnel to attend college and become officers after graduation. Randy was soon assigned to the Nuclear Power School because of his technical aptitude. Once accepted into NESEP in 1971, Randy returned home to attend his school of choice, the University of Texas. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1974. From 1975-1980, Randy served as an officer on the USS Camden out of Bremerton WA and then the USS Tacoma out of Virginia Beach, VA. In the summer of 1980, he enrolled at the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA, earning a Master of Science in Engineering Science in 1982. It was at this time that Randy’s keen problem-solving skills aligned with the modern computer era.
Randy’s naval career changed course significantly from this point forward. In late 1982, he was stationed in Pomona, CA to ensure the delivery of critical defense programs. His superiors assigned him difficult project management roles for several US Navy missile systems still in use today. Randy was often tapped to lead cutting-edge, special research and development (R&D) programs. These systems have been key components of our country’s arsenal, protecting our servicemen and the citizens of the United States. Because of his exemplary service, Randy was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during this period.
In 1986, Navy leadership assigned Randy to be a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. Sandi and his boys, packed up their California home and travelled back east, their 22nd move during his military career. Within a year, he moved out of the normal naval command path to serve on the White House’s National Security Council under President Ronald Reagan and his National Security Advisor, General Colin Powell. Randy’s transition from a standard military career to a political one was now complete. He went on to modernize and secure White House communications, installing one of the first “secure client server” networks in the country. He was responsible for the wide range of technology supporting the White House Situation Room and the critical meetings and decisions that have impacted our country and allies. At Randy’s 1988 retirement ceremony, General Powell presented him with the Defense Superior Service Medal for “exceptionally meritorious service and significant contribution to his country”. This decoration is most often presented to general and flag officers and analogous and senior to the Legion of Merit.
Randy’s retirement lasted a weekend. He promptly started his own company in Virginia, advising clients on the “next era of technology”, open systems architecture, standards-based programming, and this new thing called “the internet”. Several years later, he joined a larger company to serve as its Vice President of R&D for Emerging Technologies. Returning from a business trip on the night of June 15, 1996, Randy suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm causing extensive trauma. Within hours, a second aneurysm ruptured causing more damage. In all, six aneurysms were surgically treated at George Washington Hospital, a feat that made it into medical history books at the time. He survived the surgery, but there were long lasting repercussions. The repair of the aneurysms caused collateral damage to his brain, resulting in the loss of vision in his left eye, and impaired short-term memory. Randy had to relearn to walk, to talk, to dress, and even to eat on his own. His career as a technology leader was over. Knowing therapy would be long and difficult, Randy and Sandi returned to Texas to be near family in September of 1997.
Despite his physical handicaps, Randy never lost his religious convictions. He knew this was all part of God’s Plan. Once able to, he began sharing his own testimony and sharing God’s Message. He and Sandi began volunteering at “Texas Reach Out Ministries”, providing Christian men and women leaving the criminal justice system with safe housing, spiritual guidance, employment assistance, life skills, and support. They own eight transitional homes in Austin, TX - five homes for men and three homes for women. In 2005, while Randy was serving on its Board, he met Robert Dorrough, the founder and leader of “The God of Hope Ministries”. This non-profit organization brings God’s Word into Texas prisons and is the most successful effort of its kind to date. Randy had found a new calling and once again was working to “make a difference”. His volunteer efforts and teachings reached more than one thousand inmates. Over the years, the ministry has substantially reduced the number of Texas inmates who are re-incarcerated after their release from prison.
Randy is survived by his wife, Sandi of Buda, TX, his son Michael Maroney of Herndon, VA, his son, Ben Maroney and wife, Heather, and their daughter, Charlotte of Atlanta, GA; brothers Larry Maroney and his wife, Joyce of Canyon Lake, TX, Mark Maroney (his wife Jeanette proceeded Randy in death) of Granbury, TX, and Brad Maroney also of Granbury TX, and sister Jill Jackson and her husband Billy Jackson of Haltom City, TX. and fifteen nephews and nieces.
A Memorial Service will be held at Austin Oaks Church, 4220 Monterey Oaks Blvd, Austin, TX 78749 starting at 1:00 pm on Saturday, March 11, 2023. The service will be broadcast from their website here: https://www.austinoakschurch.org/watch-online. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to “The God of Hope Ministries” at https://www.thegodofhope.org/donate/donation-needs/.
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