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Betty G. Hand

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MANCHESTER -- Betty Gossweiler Hand, daughter of Ernest and Rose Gossweiler, was born in Pelham, N.Y., on April 7, 1921. Her father emigrated from Basle, Switzerland, in 1919 to start Sandoz Chemical Works in the U.S.; now part of Novartis though still headquartered in Switzerland. Gus is predeceased by both parents, her brother Max Gossweiler, and his wife, June.

”Gus” as she was generally called, attended the Knox School (Cooperstown, N.Y.) and Connecticut College for Women (Class of 1943, New London, Conn.). In 1944 Gus attended flight training as a WASP (Women Pilots of World War II) in Sweetwater, Texas, until the WASP was disbanded. She then joined the American Red Cross and was sent to England to set up a Red Cross post at G-24 in Honeybourne, England. There she met Capt. Jim Hand, who was C.O. of the Medical Depot at G-24. Gus returned to the U.S. in early 1946, while Jim returned home a few months later. They were married at St. Patrick’s in New York on July 13, 1946, and celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in July 2005. Jim was formerly chairman of the board at National Bank of Westchester, White Plains, N.Y., which later became part of what is now Chase Manhattan Bank. Jim was president of the United States Golf Association (1984-1985). For most of their married life, they lived in Ossining and Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. They have homes in Manchester, and Juno Beach, Fla.

Their two sons, James E. Hand and John R. Hand, and daughters-in-law Marilyn and Kimet, live in Dorset and Manchester respectively. The sons own an auto dealership, Hand Motors, in Manchester Center. Gus and Jim have five grandchildren: Thomas, Jamie, and Elizabeth, children of son Jim; and Julie and Jennifer, daughters of John; as well as two step-granddaughters, Kitt Laidlaw and Sarah Wilde.

Gus was a woman devoted to the outdoors: an accomplished horse woman in college, an expert skier, an accomplished golfer, who was champion of Sleepy Hollow CC 18 times in Scarborough, N.Y. and twice champion of Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. Gus was a long-time member of Sleepy Hollow and Ekwanok Country Clubs, as well as Seminole Golf Club.

Visiting hours will be held at Brewster’s Funeral Home in Manchester Center from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20. A requiem Mass will be celebrated at St. Paul’s Church in Manchester Center at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Red Cross, the Ekwanok Scholarship Trust Inc., or a charity of one’s choice in care of Brewster Funeral Service, P.O. Box 885, Manchester Center, VT 05255. The family gives special thanks to Dr. Keith Michl and his staff, as well as the staff at Equinox Terrace.

For directions or to send condolences to the family of Mrs. Hand please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.
Published in Bennington Banner from Oct. 17 to Oct. 18, 2005
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