Randall “Randy” Bartz

Randall “Randy” Wels Bartz, age 81, passed away peacefully in his home under hospice care in Pine Island, MN surrounded by family, on Friday, July 16th.

Randy was born on March 28, 1940 to Fred and Lucille (Goetz) Bartz. He grew up in Elgin, MN where his love for the outdoors was established at a young age. After completing high school, Randy served his country as a dog handler for the United States Army. Following his service, Randy began his career in the insurance business. Randy then went on to meet his wife, Susan Schmidt of Minneapolis, and they married in 1966. Randy and Susan started raising their three children, Kirk, Kim and Kyle, in Rochester, MN and then settled in Oronoco, MN. Together Randy and Susan opened Lake Shady Kennels, located right on the family’s property, where they owned and operated the boarding kennel until Susan’s death in 2003.

Randy was quite the innovator and outdoorsman. He later went on to invent the concept of goose flagging using the original T-flag. Randy, better known as “the Flagman”, had perfected his art of flagging geese across North America and was a frequent presenter annually at Game Fair. He was inducted into the Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame in 2013 for all he has accomplished in the industry. Randy made friendships across the country through his passion for the outdoors. Randy loved anything that had to do with the outdoors–especially training dogs, hunting and fishing. He enjoyed local area high school sports as well as finding great joy in attending his grandchildren’s sporting events throughout the years.

He is survived by his dear friend and partner, Bonnie Gathje and children, Kirk (Lily) Bartz, Kim (Jason) Alexander, and Kyle (Jodie) Bartz; grandchildren, Lauren Bartz, Andrea Bartz, Erin Bartz, Nicole Bartz, Samantha Alexander, Brooke Alexander, Molly Bartz, Scott Bartz and Lucy Bartz; brother, Mike (Zinda) Bartz of Tucson, Ariz.

He is preceded in death by his parents Fred and Lucille and his wife Susan.

Funeral services will be on Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 214 3rd St SW in Pine Island, MN. Visitation will be held from 9:00-11:00 am at the church prior to the funeral service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the family, or to Seasons Hospice of Rochester, MN, Ability Building Community (ABC) of Rochester, MN or ProAct, Inc. of Red Wing, MN

Rochester Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories and condolences of Randy may be shared at rochestercremationservicesmn.com

9 thoughts on “Randall “Randy” Bartz

  1. Kim and Family,
    So sorry to here of your Dad’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Take care my friend.
    Paula Siems

  2. Will miss you brother. I will cherish the hunts we’ve been on and always remember how talented you were especially calling with the call turn backwards.

  3. Randy
    Truly respected our friendship and the memories… I bet you’ll be flagging with angel wings now.
    God speed my friend.

  4. My father, Tim Grounds, loved and respected Randy. They were friends for many years. If Tim were alive today, he would be very sad. May GOD bless your family.
    Hunter Grounds
    Tim Grounds Championship Calls, Inc

  5. So sorry to hear of the passing of my classmate in high school.He was the cutup of our class and always made Mrs Wallerich our homeroom teacher laugh! U shall b missed Randy!!

  6. randy jumped once on short notice to help me guide a group. after a hard day four of us went to the Big Chief in Fergus Falls. we ordered and Randy started in with stories. we sat in the truckers section and every story was funnier than the last. the place was packed and everybody within earshot was quietly listening to every word, even the waitresses bent ears. the laughter got louder with each punch line. third story punch line everyone laughed so hard, one trucker fell out of his booth onto the floor. Randy only stopped to take a bite and keep on. I could on with other Randy exploits but anybody who knew him can do the same. everybody loved the guy.

  7. Randy was a good friend of mine. Over 25 years we shared hunts in many states and Canada. He was the inspiration for my product the Goose Tree System and he invited me to participate in his seminars at Game Fair. We often competed against each others teams at the Greater Bottineau Shoot Out, each of us having won twice and the only teams to have done so. A good man now entered into Our Fathers rest. Praying comfort and peace for the family.

  8. I HAVE NOT SEEN RANDY SINCE GRADUATION. HE WAS A VERY NICE YOUNG MAN AND CLASSMATE. HE WAS WELL LIKED IN SCHOOL AND SOUNDS LIKED IN LIFE TOO. MY MOST SINCERE CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY. I WISH I COULD COME TO THE FUNERAL AND MEET HIS CHILDREN. I DID NOT KNOW HE MARRIED AND HAD CHILDREN. YOU KIDS HAD A WONDERFUL FATHER–GOD BLESS YOU ALL..DEANNA 1958 GRADUATE OF ELGIN.

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