Dr. Meredith Handspicker
1932 - 2016
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BENNINGTON - Dr. Meredith Brook "Jerry" Handspicker, 83, died Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.
He was born June 25, 1932, in Malden, Mass., to Louise Donley and Meredith Purdy Handspicker, He grew up in Malden and graduated from Malden High School.
He attended Bates College, where he met his first wife, Diane "Dee" West; they wed in 1955, when he was a student at Yale Divinity School. They were married 41 years until she died in 1996.
Mr. Handspicker was ordained into United Church of Christ in 1957, and in 1961, was appointed to the faculty at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Mass. He spent 34 years of his career as a professor of theology before retiring in 1999.
He was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and joined other clergy at the 1963 March on Washington. He was an outspoken advocate of civil unions in Vermont.
He married Deb Perkins in 1997.
He is survived by his wife and three children Amy Swisher, Jared Handspicker, and Nathan Handspicker; five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
Mr. Handspicker was predeceased by his parents, his first wife and his brother, Brian Purdy Handspicker.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 12, 2016, at Second Congregational Church in Bennington.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Bennington-Rutland Opportunity Council through the Hanson Walbridge & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 957, Bennington, VT 05201.
Email condolences may be left at www.sheafuneralhomes.com.

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Published in Rutland Herald on Mar. 3, 2016.
Celebration of Life
02:00 PM
Second Congregational Church in Bennington
Memories & Condolences
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March 7, 2016
Dear Deb,
I was surprised and saddened to learn of Jerry's death. My last contact with him was shortly before our 60th Bates Reunion when he confirmed that he would be unable to attend due to poor health.

That was very disappointing to me for many reasons, but principally because his presentation at our banquet was to be about the fact that he had had the great good fortune to be married to two wonderful Bates coeds (not simultaneously). He was to have been our featured speaker and he would have been most entertaining.

I hope that the years between then and now have not been plagued continuously by poor health.

We have been thinking of you often at this time of sadness. May you be uplifted by the love of family and friends plus a plethora of happy memories.

Beverly and Lynn Willsey
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