Robert G. Handy
Robert G. Handy
  • September 14, 1936 - August 2, 2017
  • Norwich, New York

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Robert George Handy, age 80, of Norwich, NY passed away peacefully August 2, 2017 with his loving family by his side. He was born in Norwich to the late George M. Handy and Frances Wood Handy on September 14, 1936. He is survived by his wife of sixty years, Joyce Neish Handy, his three sons, Michael of Chapel Hill, NC, Timothy (wife Janet and children Alison, Jeff and Jason) of Norwich NY, and Christopher (wife Alyson and children Ainsley and Hayden) of Fairport NY, his sister Judy Derr of Bainbridge NY, and his sister in law Millie Handy of Charlotte, N.C., as well as several nieces and nephews who were very special to him. He was predeceased by his brother William F. Handy. Bob's dedication to public service, his community, his Christian faith, and to the family that he loved so dearly shone through brightly every day of his life. He started his working career in the family business (Handy Sound Service), but soon realized he wanted to pursue a career in education. In 1960, he graduated from Oswego State Teachers College and was then hired to teach in the Norwich school system, teaching Industrial Arts and Driver Education. He also took graduate courses through Syracuse University and later received a Master's degree from SUNY Oneonta. After teaching for fifteen years, he became a guidance counselor, influencing the lives of many students. Interwoven in the thirty-three years as an educator and fireman, his main focus was on the people he loved: his wife, three sons, and five grandchildren. He spent many happy times at his favorite place, the cottage he and his wife bought more than thirty years ago on Chenango Lake. He reveled in pancake breakfasts with friends and family, the restful porch swing, and the beautiful lake front. He was a member of the First Baptist Church, at West Park Place. Over the years he served as a Sunday school teacher, youth leader, member of the Diaconate, and moderator of the church. In 1955, at age nineteen, he joined the Maydole Hose Company of the Norwich Fire Department. He held numerous officer positions in the department, including Captain of the Maydoles and Assistant Chief. He was elected Fire Chief in 1972, and served until 1977, following in his father's footsteps. From 1982 to 2000, he served as Chenango County Fire Coordinator and New York State Regional Fire Administrator. Bob was named Teacher of the Year and Fireman of the Year in 1966. He was also proud to serve as President of the New York State County Fire Coordinators Association, on the Board of Directors at The Place (a children's neighborhood center), and as a member of the Norwich Rotary Club and the Norwich Traffic Commission. The family would like to thank the hardworking and caring staff at UHS Chenango Memorial Nursing Home who helped Bob as his health declined in the past month. Donations in Bob's memory can be made to: The First Baptist Church, 10 West Park Place, Norwich, NY 13815. Calling hours will be Monday August 7, 4:00-7:00 at the R.J.Fahy Funeral Home in Norwich. The Norwich Fire Department and the Maydole Hose Company will pay their respects and conduct a prayer service at 6:30. The funeral service will be Tuesday August 8, at 10:00 at the First Baptist Church. Interment will follow in the Mt. Hope Cemetery.