Carleton thomas Handy





Send Flowers

Carleton Thomas Handy Carleton Thomas Handy completed his life journey March 30, 2013 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a few months short of his 95th birthday, with his daughter, Alice, by his side. Born to Robert Sylvan and Mary Carleton Handy, his journey began July 16, 1918, in Cataumet, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. He was the oldest of six siblings, all of whom predeceased him, as did his wife of sixty-six years, Ruth Lees Handy, in 2009. Carleton and Ruth married in New Haven, Connecticut, on August 28, 1943, and had three daughters who survive him, Margaret Isenberg and her husband, Bob, of Tacoma, Washington, Alice Handy and her husband, Peter Stoudt, of Free Union, Virginia, and Carol Handy of Tacoma, Washington. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Robert Krabill and his wife, Stacie, of Tacoma, Washington, Richard Krabill of Redlands, California, and Nicholas Gerow of Charlottesville, Virginia, Jennifer Gerow and her husband, Stan Garstka, of New York City and Abigail Gerow, also of New York City; as well as three great-granddaughters, Ellie and Anna Krabill and Lila Gerow; and numerous nieces and nephews. Carleton's early years were spent on his family's Cape Cod farm in Cataumet where much of the business was cranberry farming. An exceptional student, he was valedictorian of the Bourne High School class of 1936 and then matriculated at Yale University where he graduated with honors in 1940 with a degree in chemistry. He subsequently continued his chemistry studies at Yale as a DuPont Scholar and attained his PhD in 1943. He spent his entire professional career with the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Delaware, beginning as a research chemist at the Experimental Station. He later held management positions and was a pioneer in environmental protection issues. He was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and served as President of The Fiber Society. And during his years in Wilmington he served as a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, President of the Family Court Association, and Elder and Clerk of the Session at Westminster Presbyterian Church. After his retirement from DuPont in 1981, he and Ruth retired to Cataumet where he pursued his interests and hobbies. An avid gardener, he served as president of the Cape Cod Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. He enjoyed reading, with a particular interest in history, and he pursued the quest of genealogy with passion, always finding some new line or connection. His zeal for puzzles was legendary among family and friends and he always had one on the table for everyone to enjoy with him. He also loved a good round of golf or a lively game of bridge, at which he excelled. In those retirement years on the Cape, he and Ruth traveled extensively, often with family and friends. He served as president of the Yale Club of Cape Cod, treasurer of the Bourne Historical Society, a member of the Tide Club, and in many capacities at the Cataumet Methodist Church. He also was a volunteer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the Aptucxet Trading Post Museum. In 2007, Carleton and Ruth moved to the Colonnades in Charlottesville, Virginia. They thoroughly enjoyed their final retirement years there. After Ruth's passing in 2009, Carleton continued his passions and hobbies and loved the time he spent with family and friends in the area and as well as his annual trip to Cape Cod. He was a full participant in life until the very final moments of his life. Carleton Handy was a polite and courteous man. In short, he was a gentleman and was recognized as so by all who knew him. He was intelligent and insightful by nature, and we will miss his guidance, subtle wit, Cape Cod accent, smile and that twinkle in his eye. He had a great sense of history and of being part of a long tradition. He was the patriarch of his family, a citizen of his country and community, and found peace in his faith. His family thanks the staff at the Colonnades and all his friends and extended family for making his final years so enjoyable. He had a long, productive and remarkable life. Interment will be held at the Cataumet, Massachusetts cemetery late this summer. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the Bourne Conservation Trust, Box 203, Cataumet, MA 20534 or to the Cataumet Methodist Church, Box 812, Cataumet, MA 20534. Family and friends may sign the guest register at

This obituary was originally published in the Daily Progress.

Guest Book

Not sure what to say?

I am glad to read the obituary tonight and celebrate with you from afar a life well-lived. To all the family, our love. You are ever close in heart and the connections treasured. Uncle Carl was indeed a gentle man whom we are blessed to have known as we have.

With deepest sympathy to the family during your time of grief...God is for you a refuge and strength, A help that is there to be found during difficult times...May God provide you with peace and comfort to endure the days ahead.

Alice, our thoughts & prayers are with you and your family.