Clifford Johannes Handel, age 91, of Menno, S.D., passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, at the Menno-Olivet Care Center. A funeral service was held Saturday, Nov. 25 at Peace Christian Reformed Church, Menno, with Rev. Steve Moerman officiating. Burial was in the Menno Cemetery, Menno. Pallbearers were Tyler, Austin, Hayden, Holten, Avery and Grant Handel. The Aisenbrey-Opsahl-Kostel Memorial chapel, Menno, assisted with the service details. Online condolences may be sent at: www.opsahl-kostelfuneralhome.com.
Clifford was born on Aug. 5, 1926, on a farm four miles east of Menno to William and Annetta (Heckenlaible) Handel. He was baptized and confirmed at Ebenezer Reformed Church. He attended school at Knodel School and Menno High School. He then began farming and raising pure bred Hereford cattle. He married Helena Katherina Mettler on Sept. 15, 1946. They farmed east of Menno until 1981, when they moved to Menno and acquired Handel Insurance Agency. He was one of the founding members of the Hutchinson County Soil Conservation District. He served in that capacity from 1963 to 2004. He and Helen celebrated 61 years of marriage, until her death in May of 2008. He married Donna Johnson on Sept. 19, 2009. He entered Menno Olivet Care Center in December 2015.
Cliff loved working on the farm, with his cattle, particularly at harvest time. He served as Molan Township Supervisor; on the Consistory of Peace Reformed Church. He enjoyed traveling. He sold the insurance business following a debilitating stroke in 2001. Through his determination, he continued to enjoy and remain active at the farm.
Cliff is survived by his children: Katherine Handel (Lynn Pennington) of Paoli, Okla.; Bruce (Mary) Handel of Menno; John (JoLynn) Handel of Dry Ridge, Ky. Grandchildren: Deaun Maas Steed, Stean (Raissa) Maas, Jeremy (Denise) Handel, Justin (Joanie) Handel, Hayden, Holten and Halena Handel. Great-grandchildren are: Tyler, Avery and Grant Handel, Austin and Hailey Handel and Jaeyla Maas Steed. Cliff is also survived by his brother-in-law Ray Mettler; sisters-in-law Bernice Handel, Carol Mettler and Pat Mettler; as well as nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, wife Helen, his brothers Harvey and Duane. Memorial contributions may be made to Peace Reformed Church Mission Fund.