BIG SANDY - Jerry William Handl, 92, a longtime Big Sandy-area farmer, died of natural causes on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2005, at Northern Montana Care Center surrounded by family members.
A graveside service will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. at the Big Sandy Cemetery with a reception following at Big Sandy Historical Museum.
Jerry was born in Chicago, Ill., on June 8, 1913, to Vaclav and Josefa Handl. In 1914, they moved to a homestead 32 miles southeast of Big Sandy. He attended Iliad School and grew up on the family farm.
Jerry married Ann P. Subic on Nov. 12, 1938, at Great Falls and they lived on the farm southeast of Big Sandy. Jerry worked the farm until his semi-retirement in 1975. He continued to reside and work with his son Bill at the family farm until September of 2005.
Jerry was an active community member. He served as a school board member and election judge, and as an Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service community committee member and grain inspector. He also worked on many community improvement projects.
Jerry played the violin and accordion for country dances in the Hopp and Iliad communities for many years. In his later years, he entertained his family by playing the harmonica. Jerry enjoyed visiting friends, working crossword puzzles, taking pictures, gardening, watching sports and spending time with his family.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Josef, James, John and Frank; and sister, Mary (Frank) Gasvoda; siblings who died before the family moved to the Big Sandy area, Rosie, William and Frank; and two infant great-grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Ann, a resident of Northern Montana Care Center; brother, Charles of Great Falls; sons, Gene (Susie) of Bozeman, Bill of Big Sandy, Ken (Carol) of Livingston and Jason of Great Falls; daughters, Kathy (Jim) Headlee of Missoula, Marilyn Handl, Betty (Ken) Maxwell and Marge (Barney) Leeds, all of Havre; 16 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials are suggested to the Big Sandy Medical Service Foundation, the Big Sandy Historical Museum, or to a person's choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Holland and Bonine Funeral Home.