James Randolph Light, Jr., 74, longtime resident of Long Cove Club and respected Hilton Head Island real estate business owner, died peacefully on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina on March 16, 2020.
Born in Chattanooga on February 27, 1946, Mr. Light will be remembered for his utmost loyalty and generosity to both his close friends and those he connected with in daily life. His four children were his greatest pride and joy, and his wife of 36 years, Merrill, was his best friend and supporter.
Randy grew up on Lookout Mountain and graduated from McCallie School in 1964. He attended the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. After college, he joined his family's real estate company, Light Realty Co. in Chattanooga. After the company was sold in 1980, he moved to Hilton Head Island where he purchased Island Rentals & Real Estate, a short-term rental company specializing in ocean-oriented and oceanfront homes exclusively in Sea Pines Plantation. In 1992, he sold Island Rentals and developed apartment complexes throughout South Carolina and was a partner at the Red Piano Art Gallery, which specializes in fine art. More recently, he served at chairman of the Board of Coastal Forest Resources Company, one of the largest independent wood products companies in the United States.
He served in the National Guard for six years training at Fort Pierce in Florida. His civic service included the Volunteers in Medicine Board, South Carolina Board of Realtors as Ethics Chairman and on the Board of Hilton Head Preparatory School. A founding member of the South Carolina Yacht Club, he served on the Board of Governors for many years.
Randy was known to friends as loyal, well-informed and a man of good taste. There was no one better to recommend the right Pinot Noir, the perfect hunting spot or to recount a tale. An avid sportsman, his favorite hobby was chasing birds (wing shooting), especially with close friends and each trip was always an adventure. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends in both Hilton Head and Linville, North Carolina.
Randy was preceded in death by his parents, James Randolph and Mary Virginia Gray Light and a sister Jarand Light Lane.
He is survived by his sister Starlet Light Speakman of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. He is survived by his wife, Merrill Barringer Light, four children, James Randolph Light III (Atlanta, GA), Miranda Kemp Light (Carbondale, CO), Paul Barringer Light (New York, NY), Thomas Gray Light, wife Kate and his first grandchild, Louisa Corral (Tampa, FL).
A private family burial will be held at Six Oaks Cemetery in Sea Pines Plantation. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
The family deeply appreciates the loving care and support of Shelly and Kenneth Tensley. In lieu of flowers, if friends choose, they may make contributions to the church of Kenneth Tensley (The Ark c/o Kenneth Tensley, 35 Wyndham Drive, Bluffton, SC 29910 (757-404-6023)) or to the Volunteers In Medicine Clinic Hilton Head Island (PO Box 23858, Hilton Head Island, SC 29925 or https://vimclinic.org/donations/make-a-donation/).