Randall “Randy” E. Altman, 53, of Florence, South Carolina, passed away suddenly of heart issues on Tuesday, January 3, 2023. He was born in Salisbury, North Carolina to Betty Hulon and the late Kenneth Altman. He leaves behind his soulmate, high school sweetheart, and wife, Dorothy “Dolly” Campbell Altman; his mother, Betty Hulon; his sister, Angela Altman Harvey; two daughters, Claire Altman and Susan Altman Elofson; and a son-in-law, Derek Elofson.
Although Randy was born in North Carolina, he was a lifelong Florentine. He loved fishing the lakes and rivers and the coastline of South Carolina, including the Atlantic Ocean beside Springmaid Pier, Lake Oakdale in Florence, and the Tara Village neighborhood pond as it was in his youth. It brought him a sense of both tranquility and joy, and he loved sharing the experience with friends and family on his humble boat.
Randy was also fascinated by United States military history, after watching Saving Private Ryan. He frequented historical sites and museums related to history and militaria. He collected many books about the topic, which he would occasionally read, but often would just look at the photographs. Many war movies were repeatedly watched too.
Randy worked as an automobile painter at Auto Bodyworks (ABW) in Florence for over twenty years. He started as a prepper, but quickly self-taught and mastered the craft of painting. Early on, he also did custom work at home, creating intricate designs on cars, motorcycle helmets, and motorcycle tanks. He also liked cars in general, collecting Hot Wheels early in his life and evolving that interest to tinkering with cars in the backyard, with one standout being a hybrid Camaro/Thunderbird he called the “Cambird.”
Above all, Randy liked spending time with his immediate family. He was a faithful companion of Dolly’s ever since they met in 1986. For their last anniversary, their 34th, they made the biggest trip of their life together: to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. But he also appreciated smaller moments, such as the time of year when Little Debbie’s Christmas Tree Cakes were released, watching Jaws with “his punk” Claire, browsing books and chatting with Susan in Columbia at the used bookstore Ed’s Editions–which he liked to call “Mr. Ed’s”--and being by Dolly’s side constantly through the ups and downs of life.
Randy always wore a baseball hat, a trademark of sorts. Even when he got jury duty, the dress code barring hats was his biggest concern. Randy was a no-frills, down-to-earth, caring, humorous, and authentic person. He sometimes struggled with existence, battling depression and anxiety. But he kept going, and had moments of joy and peace. He taught his daughters that sometimes the best moments are when it is still and quiet yet hopeful; like a lake on a foggy morning with fish brimming underneath the boat. He will be dearly missed.
Cain Calcutt Funeral Home is honored to serve the Altman family.
In lieu of flowers, due to Randy’s love of the water and nature as a whole, donations may be made to the Coastal Conservation League in Randy’s name.