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Handel, Leon E.  
Long-time viticulturist, Leon Handel, passed away at the age of 97. In addition to grapes, Leon grew cherries, walnuts, and almonds. During his many years of farming he also found time to be president of local foundations including the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau Federation and the Lodi Grape Festival and National Wine Show. He belonged to The American Legion Association and to the Zion Reformed Church. Leon was an avid sports fan of San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. He enjoyed golfing and continued to play into his early 90's.  He was a member of the Woodbridge Golf and Country Club for over 50 years. Leon is survived by his two sisters, Vi Casalegno of Soquel, CA, and his sister Ida Hentchel of Oceanside, CA; his daughter Diane Mason of Lodi, his son Kenneth Handel and daughter-in-law Sandy Handel of Santa Rosa; granddaughters Jill Mason, Heather Frame, Katie Hernandez, Kelly Handel, and Kim Handel. He also is survived by four great-grandchildren. His wife, Betty, preceded him in death in 2014. Contributions can be made to San Joaquin County Hospice. Family and friends are invited to attend Funeral Services at 10am Monday, July 20, 2015 in the Evergreen Chapel at Cherokee Memorial Park, Hwy 99 & Harney Ln., Lodi. Cherokee Memorial Funeral Home is honored to serve the Handel Family. Please sign the online guestbook at
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Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from July 17 to July 24, 2015
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