00 News & Updates

USP’s Randy Icenbice Remembered

Randy Icenbice Head ShotDuring last year’s Tulip Time festival I happened to be in Pella’s Scholte House Museum. Randy Icenbice was a volunteer guide that day. For a time I was in the same area of the museum and was privy to his conversation with another volunteer. He was speaking incessantly of Union Street Players and of the upcoming summer musical Fiddler on the Roof. After a few minutes of Randy’s monologue about his love of theatre and his long resume with USP, I could tell that his listener was weary. I’m sure that Randy, ever challenged with eye problems, didn’t pick up the non-verbal cues. I remember chuckling to myself. There was something sweet and humorous in the moment that captured Randy.

Randy Icenbice passed away this week at the age of 46. In many ways, Randy embodies the spirit of community theatre. A diabetic, Randy had many physical challenges that limited what he could do on stage, but he found his place. Randy was a regular at auditions. Directors and productions crews worked to accommodate Randy’s physical struggles and make sure he could get on and off stage. Theatre people are fond of saying, “there are no small roles,” and Randy could always be counted upon to show up and play his part no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. He was part of our family.

Over the past 18 years Randy was credited for 39 roles, both on and off stage, in 22 different productions. His first appearance with USP was as Traveling Salesman in 1997’s Music Man. Most recently, Randy played Nachum in this past summer’s production of Fiddler on the Roof. Beyond his roles on stage, Randy could be counted on to pitch in with set construction, set painting, and was even credited with Floral Design in 1999’s Sound of Music.

Below is a complete list of Randy’s credited roles with USP:

1997 Traveling Salesman Music Man
1997 Fireman #2 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
1998 Bob Cratchit A Christmas Carol
1998 Muppin Fiddler on the Roof
1998 Russian Fiddler on the Roof
1998 Villager of Anatevka Fiddler on the Roof
1999 Floral Design The Sound of Music
1999 Soldier The Sound of Music
2000 Policeman Hello Dolly
2000 Set Construction & Paint Hello Dolly
2000 Townsperson Hello Dolly
2001 Waldo the Waiter Guys & Dolls
2002 Chester Dillon It’s a Wonderful Life
2002 Set Construction It’s a Wonderful Life
2002 Mike Oklahoma!
2002 Set Construction Oklahoma!
2003 Grandpa George Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
2004 Beggar A Christmas Carol
2004 Party Guest A Christmas Carol
2004 Scene & Set Construction A Christmas Carol
2004 Schoolmaster A Christmas Carol
2004 Undertaker’s Man A Christmas Carol
2004 Marine Cpl. Hamilton Steeves South Pacific
2005 Old Man Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
2005 Sam Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
2005 Scene & Set Construction Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
2005 Shannon Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
2006 Funeral Attendee Our Town
2006 Howie Newsome Our Town
2006 Wedding Guest Our Town
2006 Caroler The Christmas Post
2006 Set Construction The Christmas Post
2007 Townsperson Music Man
2007 Traveling Salesman Music Man
2008 Pirate Pirates of Penzance
2010 Hooverville & NYC Chorus Annie
2011 Grandpa Tinkerman A Tinkerman Christmas Eve
2013 Fireman The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
2014 Beggar Christmas Carol
2015 Nachum Fiddler on the Roof

Randy’s funeral will be held at Calvary Christian Reformed Church on Tuesday, December 22nd at 1:30 p.m. Arvin or Pati Van Zante have been asked by the family to share about Randy’s involvement in USP during the service. Visitation will begin at 2:00 p.m. Monday, December 21st at Van Dyk Duven funeral home. Randy’s family will be present from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Union Street Players will honor Randy at next year’s Award’s Night and a memorial plaque honoring Randy’s involvement will, at that time, be added to our memorial wall in the Pella Community Center

7 thoughts on “USP’s Randy Icenbice Remembered”

  1. Randy, I remember you from when you were young, growing up in Lynnville. You and your family were very special to me! I know that you are in Jesus’s arms, perfect and safe. All who have loved you, and your family, cherish our memories with you and continue to love you! We will all be together again soon, and are so thankful for that comfort! Rest in Peace, sweet young man! Love, Shelly Van De Krol


  2. Randy was one of the reasons I loved USP and wanted to become a part of the group. His unending excitement and enthusiasm about Music Man and Fiddler was indicative of the kind of people involved with USP and reflected the role that a community theatre can and should play in a small town. He will be missed in Pella.


  3. Randy made gave me a Christmas ornament last year and this year made two cross stitch ornaments for me. On one cross stitch is a capital “L” with “Lonnie” under it, on the other is a capital “A” and instead of Appleby, he put “Aslan,” which put a smile on my face even now as I am writing this. He also gave me a rose for good luck before the performance and it is hanging upside down drying in my spare closet…Randy will be with us forever in spirit when we are on stage, and he will always have special meaning for me every Christmas when my tree gets decorated. Rest well, Randy…you are missed.


  4. I just had the pleasure of meeting Randy this summer in Fiddler on the Roof. Randy was one of those people who you cannot help but like. He found a special place in the hearts of many people around him, including myself. The last time we spoke he told me all about his cats, who he affectionately called his babies. Randy was friendly, kind, and he had a wonderful laugh. I consider myself honoured to have known him and participated in USP with him. I will remember him always.


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