In Memoriam: Mildred Randolph

May 16, 1914 – September 10, 2008

Freethought Today is very sorry to report that Foundation member Mildred Randolph, 94, who was married to David Randolph, a Lifetime Member and conductor of the secular St. Cecilia chorus in New York City, died in September, several months after breaking her hip.

Born in New York City, she was the eldest child of three. The emphasis at home was on education and family. Although first generation Americans, all three children attended college during the Depression, while working.  Mildred proceeded directly after graduation to a job with Hunter College, where she built a stellar reputation and career over 50 years as an administrator in the biology and physiology departments. At the age of 34 she married David, whom she had known since they were counselors at a summer camp together.

Mildred was the contralto in her husband’s professional madrigal group, The Randolph Singers. She was passionate about music, both as a performer and as a listener. She spent decades supporting David’s choruses–both Masterwork and St. Cecilia–with her legendary organizational skills. After her retirement the chorus work became her full time “joy.”

In all the years of David’s conducting career, Mildred missed exactly one concert, and that was only because she was in the hospital. While David holds the record for the most performances of Messiah ever conducted, Mildred may well hold it for the most ever attended. Concerts could not begin until her brightly colored scarf was sighted in the center box at Carnegie Hall. That center box will always be thought of as Mildred’s by family and chorus members–Carnegie should put her name on it. She was a world traveler, college administrator, philanthropist, problem solver, terrific joke-teller, devoted daughter, sister, wife and aunt, and “a smart cookie,” according to her nieces, Joanne Frasene and Judy Clay.

“We felt honored that we were able to spend some time getting to know Mildred, and send our best wishes to David,” said Dan Barker, Foundation co-president.

Freedom From Religion Foundation