On May 19, 2015, at the age of 53, Randy lost his battle with cancer. Jerad Wittwer, founder and owner of Performance Diesel Inc. (PDI) and close friend of Randy, wanted to help Randy leave a legacy. He called Randy’s wife, Jona, and asked her to identify a recipient who would be deserving of the Randy Rebillard Memorial Award: Tired Iron to be awarded at the 2015 PDI Customer Appreciation Truck Show.
“When Jerad called,” Jona said, “I was very honored, and Randy would’ve been very honored as well. I know that Randy respected Jerad and considered him a friend. I honestly thought it was a one-time award, but being given annually, that’s really, really special that his memory will live on.”
Cody Madsen was the first recipient of the Randy Rebillard Memorial Award: Tired Iron. “Cody is like a mini-Randy,” said Jona. “He embodied everything that Randy was”.
“When Jerad got up to explain the award and what it was about, it was hard not look like a baby in the crowd,” said Cody. “When they called my name as the first recipient of the award it was a really humbling feeling. I know the legacy Randy left behind, and I know I have big shoes to fill now to keep that going for him!”
“Randy requested that the driver be made a large part of the [memorial award] decision, not just the truck,” said Jona. “The truck didn’t have to be the shiniest, most tricked out, or the newest, but the driver needed to be proud of his truck and represent and promote the trucking industry positively.” Randy wanted the award recipient to be a person who was willing to stop and help someone, no matter their age, title or status, and someone who was selfless, caring, willing to sacrifice, and willing to teach no matter when or where.
“Randy could bring anyone together no matter what kind of truck or the shape it was in, I believe that’s why so many people liked him,” said Cody. “I feel like that’s what I’m about to; I don't care how old or rusty your truck is, if you put effort into it then I’ll like it.”
“I first met Randy when I attended the 2012 PDI [Customer Appreciation] Truck Show,” said Cody. “It wasn’t hard to get to know the guy since he was so outgoing and likable. He instantly reminded me of my own dad.”