John LeMoyne Randall, a retired salesman and a decorated Army paratrooper who fought in several key World War II battles, died of cancer Wednesday at his Annapolis home. He was 80.
Born in Baltimore, he moved with his family to South Byfield, Mass., and graduated from Governor Dummer Academy high school in 1943.
After graduating, he joined the Army and served with the 82nd Airborne Division's 517th Parachute Combat Team. He served in Sicily, Italy, France and Germany. He also saw combat in the Battle of the Bulge, the final offensive by the Nazis before the war in Europe ended in April 1945.
He was awarded the Purple Heart, the French Croix de Guerre and the Belgian Croix De Guerre. His parachute wings were topped with a gold star, indicating a combat jump into Normandy, and he also was awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge and numerous campaign ribbons.
"He talked a little about that time," said his wife of 55 years, the former Alice Pembroke Murray. "He kept a diary, and it was filled mostly with humorous notations, things about the food, the weather."
The couple met in 1948 at the old Carlin's Park ice rink. "He was quite a good skater," Mrs. Randall said. "I was just a beginner, fell down, and in a wonderfully romantic moment he picked me up off the ice and that was it."
The couple married a year later.
Mr. Randall was employed as an underwriter for United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. in Baltimore and in the mid-1950s started a company, Arundel Concrete Products. He sold that firm in 1963 and worked as a regional salesman for Economy Forms Corp.
He was president of the Severn River Association from 1966 to 1968. He also was a member and past president of the Maryland Society of Cincinnati and rose to the rank of colonel in the Maryland Defense Force, a group that augments the Maryland National Guard.
He enjoyed sailing, woodworking and designing needlepoint.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at Christ Episcopal Church in West River.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Randall is survived by a son, John Murray Randall of Foster City, Calif.; two daughters, Emily Randall Fjeld of Oslo, Norway, and Anne Murray Randall of Annapolis; and three grandchildren.