Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
William “Howard” Handy, Sr Memorial
William “Howard” Handy, Sr Memorial

William “Howard” Handy, Sr

William “Howard” Handy, Sr

Friday, February 26th, 2021

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.


  • Bill and Jeanne Johns

    My dad and Howard worked together at Snelson’s years ago, and when we saw Howard at church or when I would go to their home to talk to Clarissa about making wedding mints for our sons’ weddings, he would always tell me “Say ‘hello’ to your dad for me.” Now my dad is in Heaven. “Howard, would you say “hello” to my dad for me?” He and Clarissa were such a wonderful couple. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. In Christ Jesus, Jeanne (Linn) and Bill Johns.

  • Keith Fisher

    Knowing Howard for many years and being able to talk to him was always a pleasure!!
    May God be with his family and give them Peace and Comfort.

  • Tonya Whitlock

    Such a wonderful man with a kind heart. I will always remember how Howard took care of all of us as teenagers during our camping trips to Naches. He treat each one of us as if we were his own grandkids. Loved being part of his life. He had a smile that was always welcoming. God blessed me with knowing him, very thankful for it. He had a life well spent. My love and prayers goes out to all his wonderful family.

  • Frank and Lynn Handy

    We will certainly miss Uncle Howard! Such a wonderful uncle! He is already missed so much!

  • Linda Burns

    There are not enough kind words to say about you. You took such good care of everyone, including me. I will never forget, rubbing noses for freckles, the giggling you always did with Diane and I, letting us drive your yellow car, and the champagne station wagon. ( we might of driven the heck out of it). You took me fishing, camping, on road trips, and you and Clarrisy even came to see me in Portland. Your smile, kindness, energy, generosity and love, is one to remember forever.
    Thank you for always being such a great man. Your legacy will live on forever in my heart.
    I love you and I hope you are dancing with Clarrisy again. She was waiting with open arms.
    Love always and forever,

    Linda Burns

  • Dennis Farmer & Suesie Kosbab-Farmer

    So sorry to hear of Howards passing, he was a wonderful person.