Vera Virginia Tuttle, 99, passed due to natural causes on October 6, 2020, and was entombed next to her husband, Robert Scott Tuttle of Oklahoma, at the Lodi Memorial Cemetery. Born and raised in Lodi, CA, she was the youngest of four children of William Handel and Otela Sperling, and granddaughter of "Germans From Russia" immigrant Gottfried Handel and his second wife Louisa Zimmerman. Vera had over 100 first cousins in the Lodi area, and the Handel family was integral in the building of the Lodi German community. As a child, Vera recalled working on the packing lines at ten cents an hour to make enough money to buy herself a clarinet, and she also played softball, and had the nickname "Sporty". In high school, she marched across the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge in 1937 as a majorette in the band. She remembered this experience fondly and would reenact the routine for her family, using her old baton.
Following high school, she worked as a beautician in downtown Lodi until the birth of her first child. After losing her first fiance during the early part of WWII, she met her husband two years later at the officers club in Stockton, and they married in San Francisco at the Park Presidio United Church; her sister Lorraine Handel as her witness. Following WWII, they chose to settle in Lodi, and her husband took up farming with the Handel Company.
In her younger years, she she bowled with the Tokay League. In her middle-aged years, she played video games with her granddaughter while helping to raise her, and went on several cruises around the world. Her kitchen was a center of family entertainment where she jitterbugged with her husband, tap-danced, sang songs like, "How Much Is That Doggie In the Window", styled her daughters' hair, and passed along family canning recipes. Her later years were filled with walks with her dogs, crossword puzzles, card games, and watching sports on television.
She is survived by her two daughters, Pamela Van Fleet and Robyn Staaterman; son-in-law, Robert Staaterman; granddaughter, Kristen Van Fleet; and her dog, Zoey.
Please send donations in her memory to Alzheimer's Association