Warren Randall worked at Stony Brook University for 58 years. The South...

Warren Randall worked at Stony Brook University for 58 years. The South Setauket resident died Jan. 26 from complications of COVID-19, his family said. He was 85. Credit: Michael Randall

Warren Randall was an international man of mystery. More specifically, he was an international lover of Sherlock Holmes. The South Setauket man was a longtime member of the Baker Street Irregulars and other offset groups that met to discuss, interpret, and celebrate the famous fictional detective.

Randall, along with his Sherlockian compatriots, rewrote famous Sherlock Holmes stories, gave toasts to the characters and took quizzes to test their knowledge of the tales. For one weekend get-together, Randall wrote a musical — the "HMS Sign of Four," a take on Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera "H.M.S. Pinafore," based on a Holmes novel.

Randall, a father of three who worked at Stony Brook University for 58 years and served in the Army from 1954 to 1956, died Jan. 26 from complications of COVID-19 at Good Shepherd Hospice in Port Jefferson, his family said. He was 85.

"The people who belong to the Sherlock Holmes Societies come from all walks of life," said Cynthia Wein of Plainview, a former cousin-in-law and fellow Holmes buff. "They just have a love of Sherlock Holmes. He was just so happy to be in that atmosphere."

Randall’s love of Holmes took him far and wide, including Toronto, where he was given the highest honor in the Bootmakers of Toronto, a Canadian Holmes society, Wein said.

The trips gave Randall a chance to experience one of the things he liked as much as Holmes — driving. Randall drove a 1996 Toyota Camry that had 369,000 miles on it. When his son, Michael Randall, had a job interview in Iowa, Warren Randall balked at buying plane tickets, instead choosing to hop into the car and act as chauffeur for the over 2,200-mile round-trip journey.

"When I went to school at the University of Buffalo, he drove with me up to school, helped me move in, and then traveled on to Toronto," said daughter Debbie Giordano, 52, of South Setauket. "From Toronto, he had another Sherlock Holmes meeting in Minneapolis and then came back to Long Island — all driving."

Warren Randall was assistant vice provost at Stony Brook University from 1963...

Warren Randall was assistant vice provost at Stony Brook University from 1963 to 1995. Credit: Giordano Family

Randall worked from 1963 to 1995 as the assistant vice provost at Stony Brook University. His first day on the job was cut short by the news that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated.

After a very brief retirement, Randall returned to the school in various capacities. In 1999, he began to serve as the chairman of the traffic appeals board, where he heard disputes on parking violations and made determinations regarding their validity. He worked in that post until his death, his daughter said.

Survivors include sons Michael and Jeffrey Warren and daughter Debbie Giordano, all of South Setauket; former wife Marilyn Randall, of Levittown; brother Harvey Randall, of upstate Schenectady; and eight grandchildren.

Warren Randall was buried at Calverton National Cemetery, said his daughter.

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