Randy Wester, superintendent at Fort Pulaski National Monument, will be retiring on January 3rd after nearly 38 years of federal service, more than 33 with the National Park Service.
Randy, a native of Springfield, Missouri, served in the U.S. Navy from 1964 to 1968 and is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He graduated with a degree in business management from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) in 1974. He later completed graduate work in Recreation and Parks Management at the University of Missouri.
He spent one season with the US Forest Service on the Eleven Point River in southeast Missouri before joining the National Park Service in 1979 as a seasonal park technician at the Old Courthouse in St. Louis. Ranger/interpretation positions followed at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park (where he obtained his law enforcement commission), Padre Island National Seashore, Golden Spike National Historic Site, USS Arizona Memorial, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Randy returned to the USS Arizona Memorial as chief ranger and then moved back to the mainland as superintendent of Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site. In 2001, he was selected as the superintendent of Lincoln Boyhood National Historic Site, where he oversaw the park’s Lincoln Bicentennial commemoration. In 2009, Randy was appointed the superintendent of Fort Pulaski National Monument.
During his four years at Fort Pulaski NM, Randy has provided leadership and guidance for many significant projects, most recently the park’s signature Civil War sesquicentennial event. He has also led the bank stabilization project for the island where the Cockspur Lighthouse is located, initiated major rehabilitation of the Cockspur Island Bridge and the Presidential signing of a bill approving a non-competitive lease for the Savannah Bar Pilots Association located within Fort Pulaski National Monument.
“Among the many highlights of my career are working with the national incident management team on the 50th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at the USS Arizona Memorial and serving as a member of the dive team for the burial of USS Arizona shipmates in the hull of the ship,” he says. “I was also honored to serve with the Eastern Incident Management Team on various incidents including Hurricanes Katrina, Irene, and Sandy.”
Randy is married to Mary Beth Wester, the superintendent of Fort Frederica National Monument. They will continue to live in Brunswick, Georgia, with their dogs and cats. In his retirement, Randy plans to pursue long-term projects that are awaiting his attention and potential volunteer work. He also plans to get reacquainted with his golf game and music interests.
The park has planned a retirement gathering on Thursday, January 3rd, at 5:30 p.m. at The Crab Shack on Tybee Island, Georgia. For more information, or to send your congratulations to Randy or a favorite memory of working with Randy, please contact Tammy Herrell at (912) 786-5787 or Tammy_Herrell@nps.gov.
As he concludes his tenure with the National Park Service, Randy said, “I have been very fortunate in my career. I have worked in some of the most beautiful, fantastic, and interesting places in this country, and I have met some incredible people along the way. The road has been very good to me. I have always been very proud to be a park ranger with the National Park Service.”
Post-retirement, Randy may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.