Helen C. Randal

       Helen Charlotte Randal, 87, who had owned the Book Sleuth in Old Colorado City for about 15 years, passed away Jan. 6. She had been a Colorado Springs-area resident since 1954.
       Memorial services will be Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 1 p.m. at the Church in the Wildwood, 10585 Ute Pass Ave., Green Mountain Falls. Funeral arrangements are through Swan-Law Funeral Directors.
       She is survived by her son, Lyman Mark, the store's previous owner who had come back to help his mother run it over the past several years.
       Born Oct. 17, 1919, in Ida County, Iowa, Mrs. Randal had previously worked as a an elementary schoolteacher in Widefield. Her credentials included a college degree from Mankato State in Minnesota and a teaching certificate from Colorado College.
       She had been married twice, widowed both times. Her first husband was Clarence W. Mark; the second was Robert G. Randal.
       Her son credited her for expanding the Book Sleuth, 2501 W. Colorado Ave., to the current location and volumes totaling more than 10,000 titles.
       “She was the force behind what it is now,” Lyman said.
       He added that it was a joke between them that although she “read a lot,” she had once been cool to mystery books. “She used to ask me why I was reading this trash,” Lyman recalled. “I got a real kick out of it when she was running the store.”
       The Book Sleuth, specializing in mystery novels, started in Old Colorado City in 1984. Lyman became a part owner a few years later, eventually taking over full ownership. In 1991, after her second husband died, “Mother came to me and said she wanted to buy in,” Lyman said. “She said she wanted a reason to get up in the morning.”
       First she bought half the store, then all of it, he said.
       A little known fact about Randal was her affection for birds. According to Judy Kasten, who had been Randal's landlord since the store moved to 2501 in 1993, “she was a serious bird watcher.” When Kasten's pet bird, Mr. Graybird, saw her coming down the hall, “he would start whistling,” Kasten recalled. And when she came inside, “he would light up and talk to her.”

Westside Pioneer article/press release