William “Howard” Handy, Sr., age 98, a lifelong Sedro-Woolley resident, passed away February 22, 2021, at home surrounded by his family. He was born September 27, 1922 to William Lewis and Mabel May (Belles) Handy in Sedro-Woolley, Washington.
Howard attended school in Rockport, Samish, Mcrae, and graduated from Union High School in Sedro-Woolley in 1941. On October 26, 1942, he was united in marriage to Clarissa Pells in Samish. They settled in Sedro-Woolley to start their family. On January 20, 1943, Howard answered the call to join the armed services to end World War II. He served in England as a flight engineer on a B-24. He flew 33 bombing missions over Germany and Northern Europe, including two missions on D-Day. He returned to the states on the Queen Mary and was stationed at several bases before being discharged on September 4, 1945. Returning home was especially exciting since he was able to see his wife and finally meet his daughter for the first time. They stayed in Sedro-Woolley and continued expanding their family with a second daughter, a son, and a third daughter, over the course of the next eight years all while building their new home. After being discharged, Howard found employment with Ewing Plumbing in Mt. Vernon and began his plumbing apprenticeship. A year later, Frank Snelson, Sr., was admiring his work on a job site and offered him a job. Howard joined the Snelson Boys and worked for them for over 30 years. During this time, he was also extremely active with his family. He enjoyed attending and coaching baseball, Scouts, and any other activity his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were involved in. Spending time with his family was his proudest accomplishment and favorite pastime. Fishing (with anyone who would get in the boat), camping, motorcycle riding, and planting a large garden were activities he enjoyed and all of them were better when family was with him. After retiring, Howard and Clarissa enjoyed traveling across the country, visiting with family, and working on family history. Howard loved his family very much and they loved him even more.
Howard is survived by his children, Clara May (Gordon) Hooper of Sedro-Woolley, William “Bill” Handy, Jr. of Sedro-Woolley and Diane Marie (Don) Feeney of Bow; siblings, Kenneth (Dorothy) Handy of Sedro-Woolley and Robert (Burnette) Handy of Sedro-Woolley; five grandchildren, Bonnie Morrill, Bill Bailey, Kelly Bailey (Tammi), Dennis Feeney (Megan), and Darrel Feeney (Danielle); 13 great grandchildren; one great great grandchild with two more on the way; and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Clarissa; daughter, Donna Bailey; three brothers, Allen, Richard and George Handy; sister, Barb Eaton; granddaughter, Vicki White.
A Graveside Service will be held at 2:00, Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Union Cemetery, Sedro-Woolley with Military Honors, Pastor Jim Cannon presiding. A time of visitation will be available at Lemley Chapel from 10:00 to 1:00 Saturday before the Graveside. Please share your memories of Howard and sign the online guest register.