Randall C. Stevens died attempting to save Eric C. Ostebo from drowning, Bellows Falls, Vermont, May 21, 1983. Ostebo, 18, struggled in the turbulent water below Twin Falls in the Saxtons River. Randall, 17, high school student, obtained a length of rope, and from a ledge overhanging the river, he lowered one end of the rope to Ostebo. Randall then slipped, lost his footing, and fell into the river. He and Ostebo drowned.
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Randall C. Stevens, of Orchard Park, N.Y., was born on June 9, 1965, in Buffalo, N.Y. He was the youngest of Clair Wentworth and Dorothy Genevieve Stevens’ five sons. Randy had a love of life and was quick to make and keep friends. He was an excellent athlete and everything seemed to come easy for him.
He was a member of the Orchard Park High School’s state championship soccer team in 1980. Randy transferred to Vermont Academy for his senior year, and again he quickly made friends. It was nearing graduation on May 21, 1983, when he and his friend Eric Ostebo went for an afternoon trip to the Twin Falls of Saxton River to relax. On that fateful day, both promising young men lost their lives to the raging river.
We have wonderful memories of joy that Randy brought to the lives of all he met. His selfless act of sacrifice attempting to save his friend is a shining example and testament to all that is good in this world. For his act, he was awarded the Carnegie Medal by the Carnegie Hero Fund. As so aptly quoted on the medal, “Greater love hath no man this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” We all look forward to being with him again.
(Edited from an obituary provided by the family.)