Randy Clark Vekich died on Dec. 8, 2019, in Kent, Washington, after an extended illness. He was born in Aberdeen, Washington, on March 20, 1939, to Andrew George and Doris Henrietta Vekich. The Vekich family moved to Everett, Washington, in 1951, when Andy bought shares in the worker-owned Everett Plywood & Door Corp., a plywood manufacturing company.
Randy attended South Junior High School and Everett High School, where he excelled academically and in basketball and football. He received academic and football scholarships to the University of Washington and later was a standout basketball player while in the Army.
Randy served in the U.S. Army in Japan as a member of the Army Security Agency. After completing his military service, he joined his mother and father, who had returned to Aberdeen and registered as a longshore worker in Local 24. A gifted leader, Randy was soon elected president of Local 24 and served eight terms as local president. He was a frequent Longshore Caucus and International Convention delegate and served on every Longshore Negotiating Committee under International Longshore and Warehouse Union presidents Harry Bridges and Jimmy Herman.
In 1985, Randy moved his family to San Francisco when he was elected as a Coast Committeeman and began working at the ILWU headquarters. He was elected International Vice President in 1988, serving in that role until 1991, when he lost a close election for International President. Randy returned to the waterfront as a Marine Clerk in Local 52, Seattle, and in 1995 was appointed to the Northwest Arbitrator position under the Pacific Coast Longshore and Clerks Agreements where he served until retiring in 2010.
Randy is survived by his wife Jacque of 54 years, son Shawn Vekich, daughters Shelene Conen and Lynnae Rodeffer, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Mark and Ronald Vekich, and sister Dolly Vekich.
At Randy’s request, his family members will scatter his ashes on San Francisco Bay.