Our wonderful parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, sister, brother, and friends, Lois Harper Handy and Gerald L. Handy, of West Jordan, Utah, died peacefully within days of one another on December 10th and December 13, 2018.
Gerald was born May 12, 1931, in Heyburn, Idaho, to Ernest and Edith Bailey Handy as the third of four children. Lois was born December 18, 1931, in Rupert, Idaho, to Leslie and Ida Broadhead Harper as the eighth of nine children. Being nearly the same age, both were children during the Great Depression and teenagers during World War II. Both learned to work hard and have fun from their parents and families on their family farms.
In his early years, Dad’s family moved to Three Creek, Idaho, where his father supervised a crew for the Civilian Conservation Corp. It was a great place for boys to have adventures and it encouraged his youthful adventurous spirit. Upon the return of the family to the farm in Heyburn, Dad rejoined his classmates in their small school. He excelled as a student, was class president and played football and basketball for his high school.
Mom grew up in a very large and loving family. As one of nine children (and a twin), she was never alone. She loved being part of a big family and loved her parents dearly. Mom is finally reunited with her mother (who died one week before the twins’ twelfth birthday) after 75 years, and with her father after 43 years. She was a little shy as a child, but quickly grew out of it as a cheerleader for her high school. She was popular and never missed the dances.
It was during these high school years that Gerald and Lois met and began to date seriously. They got engaged as soon as Mom graduated high school and were married on September 6, 1950 in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple.
Dad attended Albion Teacher’s School and later enrolled at Brigham Young University to complete his Bachelor’s degree and obtain a teaching certificate. Later, he earned a Master’s Degree in counseling and a PhD in education from the University of Utah.
Dad’s career spanned thirty-three years as teacher, counselor, assistant principal, and principal in the Granite School District. During his distinguished career, he took sabbaticals to serve terms as GEA and UEA president. For several years following his retirement, he continued work as a counselor to night school students who were pursuing their GED’s.
While Dad pursued his education and a career as an educator, Mom stayed home to take care of a growing family. She often said that being a mother was her greatest ambition and she poured her whole self into caring for and teaching her children. Never a day passed without her telling us that she loved us. Even though Dad was often working two jobs or very long hours at one job, he always found time for his family. Mom and Dad made time to go camping and take family trips with their children, and supported them in their many activities. They were both great examples of love, hard work, integrity and faith.
As their children married and began families of their own, Mom and Dad found even more love in their hearts for their 21 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren (and counting). Mom and Dad were a great team, devoted to one another, and made many lifelong friends over their 68 years together. They both were faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in numerous callings over the years, most recently serving together for several years in the Jordan River Temple. Mom took wonderful care of Dad until the day she died. Dad, though suffering from a variety of ills, became sweeter and more patient even as his conditions worsened.
Mom and Dad are survived by their children: Arliss (John) Winder, Daren, Jerry (Carla), Rhonda (John) Osterberg, and Brett (DeNae). Mom is also survived by her twin sister Lila; and brother Larry; and is preceded in death by her parents; brothers Blaine, Darrell, Wendell and Clyde; and sisters Melba Weedop and Shirley Jackson. Dad is also survived by his brother Duane; and is preceded in death by his parents; brother LaDell; and sister Arlene Badger. They were also preceded in death by their daughter-in-law Darlene.
A combined viewing for Gerald and Lois will be held Friday, December 21, 2018, 6:00-8:00 p.m., at McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road, Taylorsville, Utah. A combined funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 22, 2018, at the LDS Chapel located at 7000 South and 2700 West, West Jordan, Utah, with a short viewing beginning at 10:00 a.m. and the service at 12 noon. Immediately following the funeral service, a short graveside dedication will be held at Valley View Memorial park, 4400 West 4100 South, West Valley City, Utah.