Photography

Randi Nelson

July 5, 2020

Obituary

NELSON, Randi Marcel

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Randi Marcel Nelson on July 5, 2020 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the age of 65. After a long and courageous battle with cancer, she passed peacefully at home in the arms of her loving family.

Randi was born September 23, 1954 in Minot, North Dakota to Dwaine and Lois Nelson. She grew up in a large family with five brothers and followed in her parents’ musical footsteps. In 1978, she graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

From an early age Randi's musical gifts were evident. Having first performed with the Saskatoon Symphony at the age of 14, she enjoyed a long and fulfilling association of over forty years with the orchestra as principal flute and artist in residence.  She served as flute instructor at the University of Saskatchewan for more than thirty years. Her students will be heard in concert halls and high school music programs for many years to come.

Randi met Terry Sturge in 1986 when Terry moved to Saskatoon to play in the symphony. They were married in August of 1987 and their first child, Christopher came along in 1988 and Kathleen, their daughter, three years later in 1991. 

Randi balanced a demanding career as a professional musician and flute teacher with the home life of a loving mother and wife. Randi loved to teach; she was always mindful of her father’s lessons when leading a student from the unknown to the known. As a flutist, Randi had a magical touch for turning a phrase just so.  Her sound was unique and captivating. She was adored by her students, held in high esteem by her colleagues and friends, and indeed by everyone whose life she touched.

Randi was a prairie girl. She kept the famous quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing" pinned to her board in her studio. She said she learned something from every conductor for whom she played.

Apart from her family, music and teaching, Randi's greatest loves were gardening and cooking. Often we would go out in the backyard, call her name, and up would pop a head amongst the shrubs and bushes followed by hands covered in soil. It became difficult to go out for dinner because we always preferred Randi's home cooking.

We would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and many healthcare workers for their professional and compassionate care during Randi's illness. They could not have done more.

Randi was predeceased by her parents Dwaine and Lois Nelson, and her brother Steven. She is survived by her husband, Terry, and her children, Chris and Katie; and by her brothers, Doug, Fred (Wendy), Winston (Sherri), and Jeffrey; and by her brother-in-law Gary (Connie). Many hearts are shattered by the news of her passing, but the memory of her honesty, integrity, and engaging smile will light our path forward.

Randi’s family will announce a celebration of life at a later time. Please visit randinelson.ca for more info and to RSVP. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency or the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Arrangements in care of Ashley Knash – Mourning Glory Funeral Services (306) 978-5200.

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