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Neil E. Handley

Philip, SD

1940-41, 2765, Fechner, SCS-6

After sorting out the chaff from the wheat we were able to glean the following information, in an hour and a half interview, concerning Neil Handley.

He came into the world on May 2, 1919, at Philip, S. Dak. When asked why he chose a remote spot like Philip to be born, he told us that the only reason was because he wanted to be near his mother. It took him nine grade schools to complete his elementary education but after that bit of wandering he settled down and attended Philip H. S. for four years, receiving a diploma in 1938. He enrolled in the CCC on Jan. 9, 1940. The first three months he was here he worked in the field, but with the advent of spring he went out on a cat crew as blade man. His work there won the admiration and praise of his superiors and on Nov. 1, 1940 he received an Assistant leaders rating, in recognition of his good work. During the winter of 40-41 he was an assistant leader in the field and once again this spring he went out on a cat crew as a blade man.

Neil has won much renown among his fellow enrollees as a man who has a story ready for every occasion. A "bull session" with him is a treat. His ready wit and effervescent personality have made him a host of friends while here and undoubtedly will bring him many more in years to come.

He has always been a steady hard worker and had the reputation of being the best blade man ever enrolled here.

Under the two-year limit, Neil reached the expiration of his term of enrollment this month and despite the exhortations of most of the company he left on Dec. 10. As one foreman so aptly put it, Men may come and go, but there will never be another Handley.

Neil E. Handley, age 80, died on Friday, December 3, 1999 at his home. He was born on May 2, 1919 in Philip, South Dakota. He married Joanne Longfield on October 7, 1989 in Madison.

Neil worked for the Homestake Mining Company in Lead, South Dakota from 1947 until 1970 and was U.S. Government mine inspector form 1970 until 1983. He moved to Sun Prairie in 1974.

Survivors include his wife, Joanne of DeForest; three daughters Jackie (Bob) Collins of DeForest, Jams (Merl) Bevins of Elizabeth, Colorado, and Jill Handley of Chico, California; stepsons, Michael (Debbie) Longfield of Philips, Jeff Longfield of Sun Prairie, and Jay (Gina) Longfield of DeForest; a step daughter, Mary Longfield (Rick Blum) of Sun Prairie; 12 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; and a brother, Kenneth Handley of San Diego, California.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ewa in 1980; his parents; a brother, Glen; and a stepson, Bill Longfield. A memorial service will be held at a later date in South Dakota.

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