Cover photo for Devillez, Randy's Obituary
Devillez, Randy Profile Photo

Devillez, Randy

d. February 19, 2013

Randy DeVillez, age 64, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at his home.

He is survived by the love of his life and soul mate, Billinda; daughter, Valerie (Richard) Henning; stepdaughter, Channing Fullaway; a son, Eric (Beth) DeVillez; and stepsons, Mike and Brian Schreiber. He was the beloved Papa to seven grandchildren.

Randy was born August 6, 1948 in Evansville, Indiana. He graduated from Tell City (Indiana) High School in 1966, University of Evansville in 1970 (BA), and Miami University Ohio (MA) in 1972. Then he joined the staff at Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Illinois.

He was a tenured college professor of writing and literature, often nominated for regional and national Master Teacher and/or Professor of the Year awards. Randy was a poet who was published in several regional and national publications. He earned two certificates/awards from The Atlantic decades ago. Randy was a writer of nonfiction articles, poems, and essays on various topics. He was recently published in Art Times, The Writer, and Fine Lines.

Randy was the author of Writing: Step by Step which is currently in the tenth edition with over 108,000 copies sold for college and high school college-prep courses. He co-authored and or contributed to several textbooks, study guides, histories, and annual reports. Randy edited, wrote, and/or broadcasted 136 scripts for college credit courses broadcast over commercial radio in metro Chicago, and he was a frequent speaker, presenter, and panelist across the country.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, March 9, 2013 beginning at 1:00 p.m. at The Alamo (115 North 5th Street) in Springfield, Illinois. Please join Randy’s family and friends for a time of story-telling and sharing, topped off by a live Blues jam session guaranteed to thrill Randy’s soul in the after-life!

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to “Blues in the Schools”,, or The Blues Kids Foundation.


  1. My dear cousin, and the family. I am so sorry for your lost. Praying for you. I wish that we could be with you at this time. Please know that our hearts are with you.

  2. I only had the opportunity to sit and talk with Randy 3 or 4 times, but it didn’t take long to realize that Randy absolutely adored his Family and Grandchildren, cherished his wife Bellinda, and loved Channing as if she were his own child. I’ve known Channing for several months now, and this past week I’ve had several chances to sit and talk to Billinda and get to know her. They are two of the sweetest people I’ve ever known. Randy loved his writings, and we all know that he is now in Heaven writing even better than ever, with that big smile on his face waiting patiently, as he watches over and protects all of you. Never forget that its only a “fleeting moment” here on earth, until you will all again be reunited, to talk, laugh, share, and love for all of Eternity. In the meantime, the hurt will never go away (and it shouldn’t), but always remember all of the loving memories you’ve each made with him…for those memories will make you stronger, and always love one another…for love will get you through anything that comes along. May God Bless each and every one of you, for in him lies our greatest strength of all.

  3. Words cannot accurately describe the absolute loss I feel today (and will forever).

    Randy DeVillez was a paragon of instruction for me and my personal beacon in some of my stormiest shores. He took someone bent on self-loathing and self-destruction and turned him into an award-winning poet and writer, leading me on to other aspects of the art. My life has surely been changed and touched by meeting and knowing him, both academically and personally.

    I worked side by side with Randy for four years, and in that glorious time we laughed, we lamented, we shared, we mused, but most of all I learned from one of the greatest teachers the world has ever known the basics of commitment and sef-confidence, not to mention those pesky semi-colon rules. This beautiful man saved me in ways innumerable and immeasurable, and for that I will always be grateful. Every word I commit to paper, every sentence I formulate on the fly, every random mention of Wild Turkey will always bring a smile to my face. Saying I love him isn’t enough, but it will suffice as I know this sentiment is shared by many. He was the quintessential sensei for many of us and I shall always miss him.

    I love you, Papa Bear – thank you so much for everything! I can always feel you around me, and I’ll make you proud of me. I owe everything to you.

  4. Everyone at Fine Lines misses Randy already. His wonderful sense of humor, biting wit, and ability to reach all educational levels with his words will be truly missed. When we talked on the phone, I felt like I was talking to one of my brothers. Our conversations were filled with laughter and his wisdom of students and philosophy of life. I anticipated many more excellent submissions from him when I heard of his passing. Randy, “Bless You,” and “Write On,” wherever you are.

  5. Billinda, we met you and Randy last year at the McArt Festival in Springfield as festival goers. We really enjoyed talking to you both about your art and poetry. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  6. Thoughts & prayer to the entire family.

  7. Billinda I am so sorry for your loss of Randy. I was schocked to see his obit in Sundays paper. You and your family are in my prayers. Your neighbor in Athens, Rose Sandner (and my little dog Harry)

  8. To all relatives & friends ofr Randy ,I am sending you my condolences & my warm thoghts. He was a great friend to me & very often I requested his advice about my son & my restaurant business…He was always there…Randy you will always be in our mind…Have a great trip Bless you …Your fried TONY K from Bake’s

  9. To all of Randy’s beloved family, I am deeply sorry for your loss.

    At first, I was surprised that hearing of Randy’s passing brought me to tears, since we never met in person. We became acquainted in a writers’ forum on the internet years ago. For about a year, we had many discussions about writing, life, love, loss and just about any topic, serious or silly.

    Through these talks, we became close for a while, but then, as so often is the case, life happens, and our encounters dwindled away. It was only by chance that I even heard of his transition.

    The more I remembered our brief relationship, the more I understood the tears. Randy had one of the most unique conglomeration of personality traits I’ve ever known. He managed to balance intelligence and intellect with creativity, childlike wonder and behavior, a wonderful sense of humor, compassion, curiosity, biting wit, and just a soupcon of wickedness, just for spice. I feel privileged that he was, even briefly, a part of my life.

    I’ve spent the day remembering, crying, laughing, and shouting in anger at the unfairness of his too-soon leaving. My condolences, Billinda, on your loss. But, as the love of his life, I’m sure he’s already working on a prankish way to let you know that he hasn’t gone far.

    So, there’s only one thing left for me to do. Say farewell in a way of his own devising. This one’s for you Randy! I will throw back my head, open wide, and as loudly as I can, let out one last heart felt


  10. Bilinda, Mike and Brian I am so very, very sorry for your loss. Tracie and I just received the information today and a very sadden by his passing. You and your family were such a blessing to us growing up and we relish the memories that we have of spending time with you all.

    We are so very sorry! He will most certainly be missed!

    Michele and Tracie Marcosa

  11. Valerie, Mike and Brian We are so Sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys! Randy was such a awesome person! He turned me on to reading. Especially reading Stephen King novels! He was one of my favorite MVCC Instructors! I will always remember him, liking Wild Turkey Bourbon and didn’t he hate snakes? Take care. Love, Tracie and Michelle your buddies from MVCC

  12. All of us from Best Friends Animal Hospital in Grayslake send our condolences to Randy’s family. It has been many years since we’ve seen him at the hospital with his dogs. We would always look forward to his visits. He was cheerful, compassionate, funny and just an all around great guy and will be missed by many.

  13. I would like to extend my condolences to Billinda and the rest of Randy DeVillez’s family. I am so very sorry for your loss. I was shocked and very saddened when I saw the notice in the newspaper.

    I was lucky enough to be a student of his when I started at MVCC in 1992. He was AWESOME! It was at that time that I began writing poetry. When I read of Randy’s passing, I sat down and wrote this poem:


    Randy was always the favorite Of my many professors at school. As soon as I heard him say “chalk-head”, I knew his class would be cool!

    I took COM 101 as a freshman Back in 1992; He was the kind of professor Who knew how to connect with you.

    His class presentations were lively; He made you want to pay attention. He always made learning fun; Which made it easier to grasp each lesson.

    I thought it was interesting That he knew “The Astonished Man”; He thought it was interesting That I knew one of the Landon clan.

    Author, Poet, Professor Husband, Father, Friend; A wonderful person who’s life Too early came to an end.

    The book that he wrote called “Step by Step” Enables us to learn how to write. We now must take each day step by step; As we mourn his passage into The Light.

    He was a force of nature; People’s behinds he never kissed. He always knew how to keep it real; He will forever truly be missed.

    Once again, my deepest sympathy to the DeVillez Family. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this extremely difficult time.

    Sincerely, Michele Mategrano

  14. My sympathy to Val and Rich and the rest of the family.

  15. Billinda, Channing, Valerie & family, Prayers are sent to all of you. I’m already missing Randy in the neighborhood!! I’m sure he has touched many, many lives and loved by lots of people! He always had that BIG smile. In the summer I was so envious watching Billinda bringing him something to drink while mowing the yard and she would stand and talk for long times. I always wondered what they could be talking about that couldn’t wait. But I realized you could see they were very special and how much love was between them. My heart goes out to all of you.

    Sincerely, Kay

  16. Randy and I were good friends for over 40 years and I am really going to miss him. Mary Ann and I and Sharon and Steve send our love to Billinda, Val, Eric, Chan and everyone else in his incredible family.”

Leave your Condolence

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked (required)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Devillez, Randy, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 5

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree