Loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and aunt, Helen E. Handy, 80, of Tomah joined her recently departed husband, Dean Handy, in eternal life Aug. 10, 2018, at the Cranberry Court Assisted Living facility while on hospice.

She was born April 25, 1938, in Tomah, to Leo and Thelma (Alderman) Von Haden. Following her graduation from Tomah High School in 1956, Helen was united in marriage to Dean May 11, 1957. Helen worked for 27 years at the local Cram’s/DJ’s grocery store in Tomah and was well known to many local people for her friendly and talkative nature. She enjoyed spending time camping and at the cabin with her family, going to events for her grandchildren and attending family reunions.

Helen was unfailingly generous with her time, heart and famous homemade strawberry jam. Her hobbies included talking on the phone to her sisters and sisters-in-law, keeping an immaculate household, participating in the Cherry Valley Homemakers Club, and staying up to date with the local goings-on. She specialized in making everyone she came into contact with feel heard, special, and loved. Helen made sure that every visiting niece, nephew, grandchild and child knew where the candy drawer was. Her hugs were filled with such pure love and warmth that they cured any and every ailment.

She is survived by her sons-in-law, Mark Gibson, of Warrens and Scott Zingler, of Albuquerque, N.M.; four grandchildren, Jana (Jon) Knapp, of Warrens, Ben Gibson, of Warrens, Jake Zingler, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Kailee (Randy) VanWhy, of Chicago; and three great-grandchildren, Madeleine and Emmalyn Koboski and Maxton Knapp, all of Warrens; siblings, Margaret (Marlin) Wagner, Roland (Lois) Von Haden all of Tomah; a caring sister in-law, Leona Von Haden of Tomah; many special nieces, nephews, in-laws, other relatives, and dear friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dean Handy; daughters, Vicki Gibson and Cindy Zingler; her parents; brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert (Betty Ann) Von Haden, Donald Von Haden; and sister and brother-in-law, Jeanette (Cal) Kaltsukis.

A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Helen and Dean Handy at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at the Queen of the Apostles Parish at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Tomah. Monsignor Richard W. Gilles will officiate. Burial will be in La Grange Cemetery with military honors for Dean by the Curtis-McNutt VFW Post#133. Relatives and friends are invited for a time of visitation from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, at Sonnenburg Family Funeral Home, 801 E. Monowau St., Tomah.

Online condolences can be given at www.sonnenburgfamilyfh.com.

Memorials may be given in Helen’s memory to Cranberry Court, Hospice Touch, or Queen of the Apostles Parish.

The family would again like to thank the staff at Cranberry Court and Hospice Touch for the care and support that were given to Helen, Dean and their family during the last several years. Their compassion and assistance has been insurmountable in aiding the family during this difficult time.


the life of: Helen E. Handy
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