Paul R. Handt, Jr., 81, father of the Handt family of Midland, moved into the Kingdom of God on Wednesday morning, November 13, 2013. He is survived by his three children, Christine of Midland, Laurence (Stacey) of North Wales, Pa. and Jeffrey of Ann Arbor; and a grandson, Chase. His sister, Dorothy Stephan of Spring, Texas, also survives him. He was preceded in death by his wife, Georgia; and his brother, Richard. Paul was the second son of Paul Handt and his wife, Laura.
Paul graduated with a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin
in Madison in 1955. He started working for The Dow Chemical Co., and liked Midland for its small-town, family environment. He met Georgia within a month of arriving in town, and they were engaged three months later. They were married in May 1957 in the First United Methodist Church by The Rev. Dr. McKay.
Paul retired from Dow Chemical in 1993 after 37 years of service. While there, he worked as a metallurgical engineer, inspecting equipment and piping for corrosion and recommending construction materials for new processes. He frequently traveled to Ludington to inspect equipment there.
Early on, Paul played chess as part of the Midland Chess Club, where he was the city champion at times. He also enjoyed bowling.
He coached Northwest Little League Baseball minor and major league teams over a 20 year period. Team sponsors included Al's Sport Shop, Otway Autos and Ayre/Rhinehart Realtors. His teams practiced a lot and the hard work paid off as they were often the league champs. As a result, he also coached some of the league all-star teams. Besides coaching, he held other positions in the league, including president. While he liked baseball, he gained the most satisfaction from the time spent with the boys and helping them develop their skills.
In the summer, the family would take 1-2 month trips every other year, driving around the U.S. As the family got older, he enjoyed spending time hiking with his family in the National Parks of the West. He reached the top of the Grand Teton, Mt. Whitney, Half Dome in Yosemite and Mt. Rainier. He cultivated his interest in photography by chronicling his travels. He used photography as an excuse to rest while hiking and took many nature photos. He sold some of his photos at art fairs in the summer.
As a result of his daughter being in the University of Michigan
marching band, Paul developed a love for U-M football that exceeded his loyalty for his alma mater. He looked forward to the fall and attended the home football games for the past 28 years. He also attended several of the bowl games over the years, including the 1998 Rose Bowl, when the team finished as national champions.
Golfing was a favorite pastime after retirement. He especially enjoyed golfing in two leagues a week at Currie Golf Course which continued through the summer of 2013. There is a grove of trees and a bench which he donated for the enjoyment of his fellow golfers. He played many famous courses over his lifetime including Pebble Beach, Saint Andrews, and several courses in Hawaii. He especially enjoyed going golfing with his daughter and his friends.
More recently Paul tutored junior high school students in math. He also volunteered at the Reicker Surgery Center. He loved classical music and liked to usher at the Center for the Arts when the symphony was playing. Paul remained active in his church until the end of his life. He enjoyed World War II films, and movies and music from his youth.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, at First United Methodist Church, at 11 a.m. with The Rev. Charles Keyworth officiating. Visitation will be Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, from 4-7 p.m., at Smith-Miner Funeral Home, and on Tuesday at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service.
Considering his fondness for the family beagles, donations can be made to the Humane Society of Midland County, PO Box 1034, Midland, MI 48641. Online condolences can be given at smithminer.com