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Obituary - Barbara F. Handley

Barbara F. Handley, 78, of W. Farmingdale, died surrounded by her family on Nov. 3, 2009.

Barbara Handley was many things to many people. To her six children and their spouses, she was mom. To her 15 grandchildren and five great-granddaughters, she was nanny. To the countless people she helped with drug and alcohol abuse, she was a guardian angel. In addition to many responsibilities raising a family, Mrs. Handley was also a volunteer at St. James RC Church in Seaford.

Her children remember growing up in a house with parents who were never too busy to help others. Many times the Handleys would get a call from Father Tom Hartman asking if there was enough room at the Sunday dinner table for a family in distress. With that, Barbara would grab her keys and drive to church to pick up perhaps a mom with five children. The roast beef dinner would be sliced thin so it could feed all the Handley’s and their guests.

Barbara Handley was widely regarded in the drug and alcohol field as a professional counselor who helped many people turn their life around. She respected the anonymity of her patients and always went above and beyond to help those suffering with the disease and their families as well. She testified before the New York State Court of Appeals in defense of a client. Her testimony, that alcoholism is a disease, helped reinstate her client’s job. She also received an award from the Teamsters Union for her unwavering dedication for helping those with the disease.

Wife of the late Gerald B. Handley. She is survived by her friend of 14 years Frank Gomula and her children, Mary and Bruce Falkenberg, Dolores and Jerry Handley, Teri and Mike Sheehan, Cyndi and John Handley, Maureen and Ron Nanni, Beth and Tony Mignone. Grandmother of 15. Great-grandmother of five granddaughters.

Arrangements were made by the Arthur F. White Funeral Home. Funeral Mass at St. James RC Church. Interment Calverton National Cemetery. As an alternative to flowers, the family requests donations in Barbara’s memory be sent to the Msgr. Thomas Hartman Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Inc., 72 W. Main St., E. Islip, NY 11730.