South Portland - Randy D. Ouellette, 42, died unexpectedly Sunday, January 29, 2017, of an apparent heroin drug overdose. He was a highly intelligent person who suffered throughout his lifeoften times privatelyfrom depression and substance abuse. The last few years he struggled with many physical health issues including debilitating bouts of rheumatoid arthritis. He was born in Bangor on September 19, 1974, son of Beverly A. LaPlante and George D. Ouellette. In 1982, Randys mother Beverly married Christopher Crawford, who became a loving step-father throughout the rest of his life. As a young person, Randy lived in Old Town, Madison, and later Lewiston, where Randy attended St. Josephs Grammar School and St. Dominics High School. He excelled as a top student, and even in elementary school his ability as a writer was recognized through a program sponsored by the University of Maine at Farmington. In high school he continued to excel as a student especially in Literature and French. For three consecutive years he was recognized as having the highest grade point average in French, was a member of the Key Club, and served as class officer his junior year. He was a life-long catholic, and served as an altar boy at St. Sebastian Church in Madison. During those years Randy spent countless hours with his beloved Mammy and Pappy Margaret and Lionel LaPlante in Old Town. He has always had a loving extended family. He was always a hard worker and since his teenage years always took the initiative to find jobs. His first job was at Sams Italian Restaurant in Lewiston, which he found when the business owner, Sam Bennett, approached Randy in church and asked him, What are you going to do this summer? He saw Randys potential and gave him his first job at age 14. Randy thrived when people recognized his strengths. Following high school, Randy attended the University of Southern Maine before accepting a manager trainee position with Papa Ginos Restaurants working in Lewiston and Portland and then becoming the manager of the Portsmouth, New Hampshire location. He later returned to school at USM and worked full time as an assistant manager with Pizzeria Uno. During that period of time he worked as a DJ and bartender in several nightclubs in Portland. In 2004 he decided to leave the restaurant industry, and joined the family business, Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Homes, assisting his mother and father in the running of the business. Randy had a natural gift for empathy and compassion, which made him well suited for his position as a Funeral Attendant. After six years he made the decision to return to the restaurant business and became the general manager at Mesa Verdi in Portland. In February 2012 the Press Herald recognized him in an article on their restaurant and entertainment section of the paper. As he grew older his career path evolved and he decided to use his desire to help others by becoming a substance abuse counselor. He became a certified Drugs and Alcohol Substance Counselor, and worked full time at Our Fathers Recovery House in Saco. Unfortunately, he had to leave this position in 2016 due to the debilitating effects of rheumatoid arthritis. He worked intermittently for other agencies on a per diem basis and tended bar part-time at Blackstones in Portland. Randy was an intelligent and thoughtful person, who suffered from depression and substance abuse throughout his adult life. He fought valiantly to manage these issues privately, and often hid his struggles from those who loved him. Even on dark days, Randy often presented an easy going, upbeat demeanor to the world. He will be remembered most for his gentle kindness and larger than life personality. He had a great sense of humor and spot-on wit that would light a room with infectious laughter. Randy was a friend to many. His warmth made people feel immediately welcomed and accepted. He had the unique ability to engage in conversation and make you feel as if you were the only one in the room. Randy was a staunch Democrat and was known for his political passion and beliefs. He was never silent about the injustices of the world. He was an outspoken advocate for equality, equity, and gay rights. He will be remembered as an advocate for the poor and abused. He sought and wished for peace in the world and hoped for love and acceptance. He dared to say the things people were thinking but didnt have the courage to say themselves. Randy had a strong belief in God and was a communicant of St. Maximilian Kolbe Church in Scarborough. Like so many New England sports fans he loved the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins. He also enjoyed traveling, especially cruises. Randy was loved by so many, including his beloved mother (and strongest supporter), Beverly A. Crawford, who died in 2014, his stepfather, Chris, as well as hundreds of family and friends. Love alone could not save him. Due to depression and substance abuse, he never attained the peace that he so fervently sought. Survivors include his step-father and step-mother, Christopher and Kelly Crawford of Scarborough; his uncle Leo J. LaPlante and husband Michael W. LaPlante of Sarasota, Florida, his cousin Angela LaPlante Fauth and her husband Brian and their daughters Thileigh and Aleigh of South Portland; his father George Ouellette of Milford; several aunts, uncles and cousins; his beloved extended York Family as well as many friends. Visitation will be held 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday at Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10AM on Friday at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, 150 Black Point Road, Scarborough. Burial will follow at New Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. To view Randys memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit www.ConroyTullyWalker.com. Those desiring may make donations to: Family Hope, PO Box 1385, Scarborough, ME 04070-1385 or The Transformation Project, 907 Main Street, Westbrook, ME 04092.