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Mrs. Lucille Koel Handley was born at home on the farm in Rock Rapids, Iowa, on August 2, 1921, and passed peacefully with those she loved and loved her at her home in Santa Barbara, California, on November 18, 2014. Her parents, John and Anna Koel, emigrated from Holland before World War I and tenant farmed 120 acres of corn and oats. Lucille had many fond memories of farm life, feeding and caring for the many animals and riding the work horses. She was educated in a little red school house across the dirt road from the farm. The family farm had no electricity and was lit by kerosene lanterns. Lucille did her school work at night in the kitchen. Lucille's mother, Anna, was the oldest of eight children which gave Lucille and her older brother, Herbert, many cousins to play with. Her father, John, was an avid fisherman and spent many evening hours fishing along the banks of a river which flowed near the farm. Lucille left Iowa for California in 1942, riding out to Long Beach with a family friend. She quickly secured a job as an aircraft inspector at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company. One evening she and a girlfriend went out for a night of bowling where she met her future husband, Dr. Owen Barry Handley, a Navy reconnaissance instructor. Owen and Lucille were married in 1945. During the 1950s Owen pursued a doctorate in education from the University of Southern California and worked for the San Diego School District for 30 years. The Handley family attended the La Jolla Presbyterian Church and enjoyed a long association with the La Jolla YMCA, attending family camp in Julian, California, each Labor Day weekend for many years. In later years, Owen and Lucille traveled extensively through Europe, Asia and South America. Lucille was a member of the La Jolla Presbyterian Church for over 61 years and made many wonderful friends there. She was a daughter in Christ, lived adventurously, loved gracefully and gave generously to all that knew her around the world. She had a good, blessed and full life and left a legacy of loving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that all cherished and adored her. She was always full of grace and spirit. She will be dearly missed. Lucille's beloved husband, Owen, went home to be with the Lord in 1989. She lovingly embraced her three sons and their wives, Larry and Patrice, Richard, and Brandt and Terri; and her grandchildren, Taylor, Serena, Christian, Natalie, Barret, Sean, Michael and Sophie. Services will be held at La Jolla Presbyterian Church on Sunday, November 30, 2014, at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that any contributions be made to Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care of Santa Barbara. They were truly the "Angels Among Us" in Lucille's final weeks on Earth for her and for us: www.vnhcsb.org.
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