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Donald Handel: 1932-2020

  • Donald Handel
    Donald Handel

Donald Handel, age 88 of Menno, S.D., passed away Thursday evening, Nov. 19, 2020 at the Oakview Terrace in Freeman, S.D. A private family graveside service was held Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Menno Cemetery, with the Rev. Michael Hecht officiating. Military graveside rites were provided by the Rames-Bender American Legion Post # 152 Honor Guard and the SDARNGHG.

Donald John Handel was born on Sept. 2, 1932, to Richard and Ella (Heckenlaible) Handel.  He was baptized at Salem Church of Menno.  After graduating from Menno High School, Don served his country during the Korean War as an engineer from 1953 to 1955. The Ambassador for Peace Medal from the People of the Republic of Korea was bestowed upon Don and he proudly accepted the honor given to him.  He returned home to farm with his dad on the homestead.

Don was united in marriage to Beverly McClain on June 1, 1958.  They lived on the homestead and raised their two children, Douglas, and Pamela.  Don and Bev worked hand in hand helping each other farming until they retired.

Don enjoyed fishing and camping later in life.  He was a member of Peace Christian Reformed Church where he served faithfully as a deacon and a member.  Don was also a lifetime member of the American Legion.  

Don’s pride and joy were his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  His heart was filled with joy watching his grandchildren’s activities they were involved in.  There were very few times you did not see him on the side with a smile on his face.  As his granddaughter poignantly wrote:

This man, was at every sporting event he could be at.

This man, adored his great-granddaughters.

This man, quit smoking for me.

This man, was a veteran.

This man, was my hero.

This man, was my #1 fan.

This man, this man is my Grandpa.

I will forever miss you and love you Grandpa!

Grateful for having shared his life are his wife, Beverly Handel; children, Douglas (Linda) Handel of Menno and Pam (Bryan) Roth of Estelline, S.D.; three grandchildren: Kendra (Brandon) VanBlaricome of DeWitt, Iowa, Bryce Roth of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Nicole Roth of Pierre, S.D.; two great-grandchildren, Halle and Ava; and brother, Vernon (Connie) Handel of San Antonio, Texas.

Don was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Milton.