Considerate. Modest. Grateful. Just a few of the words that come to mind after having the pleasure of meeting Randy Weckwerth. He adjusted his baseball cap, looked at his rugged capable hands, and smiled at us as we sat back to listen his story.
Randy was born and raised in Ripon, Wis., and he knew the time would come when he would need to sign up for the draft. On his 18th birthday, he did just that… and then promptly enlisted in the Navy. He wanted the branch he served in to be his choice. After basic training, he traveled to San Diego where he left for his first assignment as a boiler technician on a guided missile cruiser. Each cruise lasted seven to eight months at a time; four to six weeks of that time without going to shore. For Randy, that sometimes meant going weeks without seeing sunlight. It wasn’t always easy working in the hot belly of the ship but he maintained a great attitude. Beyond the boiler, there were only a couple times he saw battle, and was shot at. Though warned, he and his young fellow sailors learned quickly why they were advised not to go up on deck.
One of his most memorable moments included crossing the Panama Canal. His cruiser was headed from the West Pacific to the Mediterranean Sea which led them through the Canal. Due to 140 degree temperatures, a normal four hour shift was shortened to only an hour and a half.
Randy had the opportunity to see a lot of the world, 28 countries to be exact. He took advantage of the few days of leave, where he could explore. This meant a New Year’s Eve in Villa, France, enjoying the island of Malta, and walking along the beach in Greece. Randy ended his time in the military in 1970, and returned home to the family farm where he grew up.
He applied all of the skills he learned in the NAVY as a small business owner. In 1972, he bought a heating and cooling company, starting with two guys and a pickup truck. Randy sold the business a little over 30 years later, but wasn’t quite ready to retire, so he joined the team at Alliance.
Randy has been with Alliance for about seven years and continues to work with the maintenance department, specifically with utilities including plumbing, heating, lighting, and more.
Outside of work, Randy transformed the farm where his parents once raised beef cattle into his family home, which now includes a hobby farm, with miniature horses, donkeys, sheep, chickens, and goats. Randy enjoys spending time with his wife of 45 years, Nancy, his daughter, and grandson. He enjoys caring for his animals, 4-wheeling, fishing, hunting, and working on cars. He even hits the road with his restored street rods.
Thank you, Randy, for your dedication and service to our country.