Jonathan Randall Memorial Fund

About the fund

In memory of Jonathan Randall, who was killed in the World Trade Towers, September 11, 2001. Provides grants to charitable agencies as recommended annually by the Randall family of Silver Lake.

From the Donor:

On September 11, 2001 an airplane struck the north tower of the World Trade Center.  Jonathan Randall was working on the floor where the plane struck.

Jonathan was born in Syracuse in 1959. His father, Charles, and mother, Hedi, moved to Holland when Jonathan was one year old. Later the family moved to Germany, Alabama, Florida, Connecticut, before settling in Wellesley, MA. There Jonathan played violin in the school orchestra, was named a Merit Scholar and enjoyed winter camping as an Explorer Scout.

After high school, Jonathan made a three month solo bike trip through Europe before entering Swarthmore, a school that both of his parents had attended.

In 1935, Jonathan’s grandfather, Dr. Hiram Randall, purchased a cottage on Silver Lake, near Brackney, Pennsylvania. His family vacationed there every summer.  Jonathan became an avid fisherman and had a great love of Silver Lake. It was his plan to leave New York City and return to Silver Lake Township to live after his daughter graduated from Stuyvesant High School.

One of Jonathan’s closest friends and classmate at Swarthmore wrote the following article for the Swarthmore College Bulletin.

Jonathan Randall ’82

His path in life is remembered.

by David Shaiken ‘82

Jonathan Randall ’82 died in the North Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.  He is the only Swarthmore graduate known to have perished in the attacks.  Jonathan’s parents are Charles ’51 and Hedi Schmid Randall ’53.  David Shaiken remembers his friend:

Jon was gentle man who had found a path to spiritual peace, a path marked by seeking and finding rewards in the search. Like many Swarthmoreans, Jon was a contemplative and reflective person. He was open to finding fulfillment, even if it hid in unfamiliar places. He was willing to experience life.

College friends will recall how, early in college, he came upon modern dance. Suddenly, he was a man transformed, reveling in the beauty of choreography and movement. He pursued this path in New York City for several years after graduation, living on cornflakes and dreams.

Some classmates have expressed surprise to me upon learning recently that this same Jonathan – artsy, warm, gentle Jonathan – had worked for years in the Information Technology Department of J&H Marsh and McLennan Inc., an international insurance brokerage firm, in a corporate Wall Street environment 95 floors up in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Jon had found another path of exciting ideas and new challenges working with computers and supervising others. That was Jonathan – unbound by your or my expectations, willing to take a turn when it felt right.

His daughter, Katie, now 11 years old, was the light of his life. Through his love for her, Jonathan happily walked a path of nurturance and profound love. Jonathan was deeply involved in Katie’s daily life. They shared horseback-riding lessons in the city and trips to his beloved Silver Lake in northern Pennsylvania, a Randall family retreat for three generations. He sought and found a bond with Katie that delighted him, touched him deeply, and renewed him on a daily basis.

Jonathan became a devout Christian, joining and taking a leadership role in the Zion Lutheran Church in Brooklyn and forming a Bible study group at work. He found a path to spiritual peace through his work in the church, study of the Bible, humility, relationship with God, and many acts of charity. At Christmas, he asked his family to forgo buying gifts for him and instead to give to a needy person.

Jonathan turned toward faith because that was his way – attending to what he found that was good, right, and fulfilling on his journey. Jonathan listened well and intently; he attended, with conviction, to what he heard.

He was a simple man – a man of simple pleasures, profound kindness, warmth and affection, and devotion to his family.

When I think of Jonathan, I shall think of peace – peace found in sharing simple pleasures, the peacefulness of his presence, the spiritual peace he discovered, and the peace and love he showered on his family and friends.

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