Joseph L. Randolph

Joseph Leslie Randolph passed from life January 16, 2024, at home with his wife Irene by his side.

“I did my best” is the epitaph he chose. Joseph Leslie Randolph, age 93, born in Philadelphia on September 2, 1930, passed from life January 16, 2024, at home with his wife Irene by his side.

Joseph was a man with integrity and a sense of duty. He was competitive, determined, unassuming, thoughtful. He worked hard and long to achieve the best result possible. He always looked forward, welcoming the future.

He held his children close to his heart. His grandchildren and great grandchildren were special joys. He had many fond memories of road trips to share Alaska with family.

In 1963 he bought a VW Transporter, the one with the curved back windows. He drove that VW until 1981. Its iconic hood emblem framed.

Throughout life Joseph preferred tent camping. A cup of freshly brewed coffee and a morning jog through the campground suited him. Jogging was high on his list and along with walking was something he did most days. He looked forward to competing in local races. He enjoyed travel—a visit to Mongolia a wish. Traversing the Harding Ice Field was also a dream.

Joseph appreciated simple pleasures in life…receiving a letter or a card, a walk around town, gifts of bakery or home grown produce. Favorite movies included: High Noon, The Verdict, and 12 Angry Men. He enjoyed light comedy, stage plays, and music. Special to him ‘Dies Irae’ sung at his mother’s funeral.

As a final request, he wrote: “If a remembrance event be held for me, I ask that ‘Annie’s Song’ be played as an expression of love for my wife, Irene.”

Education, Military:

During high school Joseph was Football Team Captain at Camden Catholic, NJ. Upon graduation he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis. Aside studies, he played Battalion Football.

He received MS in Engineering Electronics at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey. His thesis: A Startup System for a Nuclear Reactor. The project director rated Joseph’s work as the most outstanding masters level experimental work he had seen. Joseph followed up with a Post-Master’s Degree, majoring in Control Systems Engineering, and continued as PhD Candidate in Engineering Electronics with an Information and Control curriculum.

Prior to 1959 ship target tracking and weapons firing were separate individually done actions: radar data plotters, radio target tellers, gun and missile coordinators, and fighter directors. Any computers onboard were analog and large.

The first shipboard system to use digital computers, the Naval Tactical Data System (NTDS), was developed in the 1960’s. It precipitated a digital revolution in naval warfare systems. Joseph’s contributions are recounted in When Computers Went to Sea, the digitization of the US Navy (David L. Boslaugh, 1999), and in Hard Charger! (James A. Treadway, 2005).

During 1970’s Joseph developed new management techniques for acquiring ships and for guiding the integration of their combat systems. The Chief of Naval Operations presented Joseph a Meritorious Service Metal.


He retired from the Navy in 1977 with the rank of Captain. He and Irene formed Applied Management Technology (AMTECH), a small consulting firm. Joseph’s later employment centered around liquified natural gas, synthetic fuel, and international airports projects.

Joseph and Irene spent time overseas, then 1990 found them settled in Homer, Alaska. They built Fireweed Gallery, showcasing local artists. Joseph led discussion groups, wrote fiction, and taught students learning English as a Second Language. He was always working on something.

Joseph is terribly missed by Irene, his loving wife and partner of 43 years who shared a lifetime of hopes and dreams with this exceptional man.


Wife: Irene (Docktor) Randolph

Children: Marietta (grand: Brian, Melissa, Rebecca, Douglas; great: Elliott, Avery, Olivia, Joseph, Faith, Emma, Leia, Bryce). Michael (grand: Bridget, Veronica, Rose, Max, Nathanael; great: Rafael). John, Mark.

Brother-in-law: Paul Craft (niece: Wendy, Kelly; nephew: Steve (daughter Natalie)).

Sister: Mary Lou DeMarco (deceased), niece: Leslie (Timothy, Amanda, Nicole), Michelle (Gabrielle) nephews: James (James, Lauren), Louis (Atlas, Robert, Bianca).