Marlene West Randall

Sunrise: October 18, 1934

Sunset: April 1, 2021

Marlene West Randall

Marlene West Randall, the daughter of the late James E. West and Gladys West Pretlow, was born on October 18, 1934 and raised in South Norfolk.  On Thursday, April 1, 2021, she peacefully made her transition to be with the Lord.  She was an active member of New Bethel Baptist Church in Portsmouth, Virginia as well as her community.

Graduating from Booker T. Washington High School at the age of 15, education has always been a focal point in Marlene’s life. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education – Virginia State University; M.A. Early Childhood Education – Columbia University; Advanced Certificate in Administration – University of Virginia; Certificate in Administration and Supervision – Old Dominion University; and an earned  Doctoral Degree in Educational Administration – Nova University. She retired as an educator/administrator having worked 38 years with distinction in the Portsmouth Public School System, along with being devoted to her family and community.

Marlene has served on numerous Boards and Commissions in the Hampton Roads area to include: Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., HER Shelter, Portsmouth School Foundation, YMCA of South Hampton Roads Board, Effingham Street YMCA, Chamber of Commerce; Tidewater Chapter of American Red Cross (Diversity Task Force), School Board Oversight, Clean Community Commission, Sister City Commission; United Way – Residential Area, Central Civic Forum, Norfolk/Portsmouth Empowerment 2010 Board, S.T.O.P. Consultant; Election Precinct Officer, Urban League, Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast, Past National Treasurer of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., AAUW, Coalition of 100 Black Women, The Links, Inc., the National Drifters, Inc. (one of the three founding members for the Portsmouth Chapter), Delicados, Inc.,  Portsmouth Moles, Inc., Saturday Evening Bridge Club, Pinochle Bugs Inc., and a number of other social and civic groups. She was also appointed by former Governor Timothy Kaine to the Criminal Justice Services Board, in which her term expired June 2010.

Many honors, awards and citations have been bestowed upon Marlene. They include the NAACP Community Service Award, National Life and Virginia Life PTA, NAACP Life Member Award, Now Black Woman of National Drifters, Inc., Portsmouth Schools Humanitarian Award, YMCA Service to Youth Citation, Smart, Bold, Strong Woman Award – Girls, Inc., Order of the Red Triangle YMCA of South Hampton Roads, NCCJ (National Conference Community & Justice) Humanitarian Award, Trailblazer Award (Leadership in Politics Les Gemmes Inc.), Influential Americans (African American Historical Society), Distinguished Service Award (National Jack & Jill of America Inc.) and the recipient of an ‘Honorary Citizen” title from the City of New Orleans as National Treasurer of Jack & Jill, Inc. (to name a few). One of her proudest accomplishments was being honored in HistoryMakers which is the Nation’s Largest African American Oral History Video Collection archived in the National Library of Congress (https://www.thehistorymakers.org/biography/marlene-randall-41).

Having served in many endeavors, Marlene served as Treasurer of Church and Community in Action; Secretary Area II NAACP (Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Suffolk), Vice Chair Norfolk/Portsmouth Empowerment 2010 Governance Board, Political Actions Chair NAACP (Portsmouth Chapter), “motivator” to everyone in the G.E.D. program at the Queen Street Center and served on the Portsmouth City Council (2002-2014). As a Councilwoman, she served on the Virginia Municipal League’s Educational Policy Committee and was historically named the first African-American female Vice Mayor during her tenure.  One of her passions was serving as one of the active leaders of the renowned Umoja Festival, a premier African-American cultural celebration in Hampton Roads.

Marlene is predeceased by her loving husband of 62 years, Vernon L. Randall and her sister Jean W. Dickens. She is survived by a brother-in-law, Arthur S. Dickens; two special sisters, Brenda Smith and Cynthia Hines; a son, Ricardo C. Randall (Jacqueline); two daughters, Veronica R. Williams (Corey) and Michelle D. Bryant; a special niece, Danielle Smith Jones (Anthony); three grandchildren, Cordell L. Williams, Jamia C. Randall and Vernon L. Williams and many cousins, nieces, nephews, family and friends.


Viewing Wednesday, April 7, 2021 2:00pm - 6:00pm Metropolitan Funeral Service 120 W. Berkley Avenue Norfolk, VA 23523 Service WATCH SERVICE LIVE ONLINE Thursday, April 8, 2021 11:00am Metropolitan Funeral Service Berkley Chapel Interment Roosevelt Memorial Park 1101 Campostella Road Chespaeake, VA 23320 The family is following the CDC and State of Virginia guidelines for funeral attendance.

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  1. reply
    Estherine J. Harding says

    Deepest sympathy and prayers to the Randall Family. I met this distinguished lady of great honor many years ago through her mother, Mrs. Gladys Pretlow, who was my Order of Eastern Star of VA, PHA sister.
    May Mrs. Randall rest in peace for all the great things that she has done in service to mankind….to GOD be the Glory!
    Estherine J. Harding, HPGWM OES of VA, PHA.
    NSU Alumna and Retiree

  2. reply
    Leigh M. Burton, Sr. says

    May the Family find comfort in knowing that Mrs. Randall is now resting in the arms of Her Lord and Savior. I will miss her. I will miss hearing Her tell People when ever i was in Her company that I was one of Her Babies. I was one of Her first students when She graduated from College. All these years She would let everyone know that I was one of her students. John 14:1-6 is the scripture I would like to leave with the Family.

  3. reply
    Derrick Martin says

    My The God of the Living keep your family in his arms as you walk thru this moment in time remembering that weeping will not endure forever but Joy and Love is Everlasting..

  4. reply

    “””BTW FOR LIFE “””

  5. reply
    Lamont Simmons says

    My deepest sympathy goes out to the family, friends, colleagues and neighbors on the passing of the beloved Vice-Mayor Marlene. She is sorely missed.”

  6. reply
    David Martin says

    May the lord keep all the family and friends of Mrs Randall safe and provide you all with strength and comfort. She was a true blessing to be near and know. She will be missed.

  7. reply
    Danielle Howard says

    My condolences goes out to the family. I am saddened to hear about the loss of your mother. If you need anything…please allow me to assistance you in any way that I can.

  8. reply
    R. Oglesby says

    My heart aches to hear this news. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Mrs. Randall was a pillar to this community. She will be truly missed.

  9. reply
    Maria Norman says

    My sincere condolences to the Randall family because you have truly lost a beautiful Christian Mother, that let the love of Jesus Christ shine through her in her daily walk. I had the opportunity to interact with her during her tenure at Lakeview Elementary as principal, where my three children were students. Mrs Randall’s love for the students and parents was truly shown and we loved her. She and her husband have truly left a legacy for all to remember and appreciate. My children’s educational journey was truly impacted in a positive manner and we are truly grateful. We (LaShanda, Ammon & Gamaliel Norman) Love you, but God Loves you Best! RIP Mrs Randall!

  10. reply

    My deepest condolences to the Randall family. Mrs. Randall’s legacy truly speaks for itself. She was a woman of distinction and accomplishments. My prayers are to her loving family who will miss her. Just know that her works will praise into the gates.

  11. reply
    DENISE REID says

    Father, be with this family surround them with Your love and comfort them in this time of loss. Let people show them lots of love and tons of good memories. Supply all their needs. In Jesus Holy Name Amen

  12. reply
    Andrea D Jackson says

    To Mr. Ricardo Randall and his family, we offer our sincere condolences. Ricky, we pray that our Lord, who loves you dearly, will bring peace and comfort to your heart in the coming days. Please know that we are sending loving thoughts and fervent prayer to you and your family.
    With Heartfelt Sympathy,
    Katherine and Andrea

  13. reply
    Kim Gibbs && The Gibbs Family says

    Sending Condolences to the Randall Family. May God continue to bless you and give you strength. Love you all forever as my grandmother, Mrs Louise Gibbs would say.

  14. reply
    The Winston Family says

    To the Randall Family.

    Wishing you our sincerest condolences in the loss of Marlene. She was a lifelong family friend. She will be missed.

  15. reply
    Toye Dawson says

    My sincerest condolences to the family. I did not know her personally but from what everyone has said about her she will be dearly missed.

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