The beloved and charismatic Kathryn Hope Handley, 74, of Plymouth, Massachusetts passed away peacefully surrounded by family on December 30, 2013. For years, she bravely battled a chronic lung condition, recently complicated by pneumonia.
Kathy was raised in Rocky Hill, Connecticut by the late Duncan William Hope and Mary McNamara Hope. She was married and dedicated to her loving husband, Edward F. Handley, for over 28 years.
She graduated from Wethersfield High School and Central Connecticut State University. She personally connected with underprivileged children and their families as an elementary school teacher in South Boston in the 1960’s and in Long Beach, California, during the 1970’s and 1980’s. She lived in Manhattan Beach, California for 20 years where she raised her daughters and passionately enjoyed the beach-town lifestyle.
With her positive outlook, witty sense of humor and casual ease, she developed widespread, lasting friendships with people of all ages wherever she went. Over the decades, her interests included fashion, art and antiques, and her most cherished times were spent with her husband and family, traveling on vacation or enjoying time at home.
Later in life, Kathy applied her passion to creative writing. She fulfilled a lifelong dream with the publication of her novel, Birds of Paradise, and short stories, flash fiction and poetry in A World of Love and Envy. She was an avid member of the Grub Street writing center in Boston and a member of the National League of American PEN Women. She was a longtime contest judge of the SoulMaking Literary Contest in San Francisco. Throughout her writing career, she participated in numerous writing classes, groups and conferences. Her book readings ranged from Duxbury, Massachusetts to Manhattan Beach, California. She supported and encouraged emerging and accomplished writers alike.
Kathy was a loving, committed wife, mother, grandmother and sister. She is survived by daughter, Elizabeth Nightingale and son-in-law, Gerald Nightingale, Jr. of Duxbury, Massachusetts; daughter, Carolyn Clark and daughter-in-law, Mariana Corzo of Albany, California; stepson, Edward Handley of Springfield, Illinois; and brother, Robert Hope and sister-in-law, Bonnie Hope of Tolland, Connecticut. She was predeceased by her stepdaughter, Shellee Handley.
Kathy was a spirited, vibrant grandparent and a champion for children with special needs, inspired by her grandson, Eric Nightingale, 14. She is also survived by grandchildren Grace Nightingale, 8, Léo Corzo-Clark, 11, Megan Handley, 26, Jillian Handley, 22, and Evan Handley, 18.
Her life will be celebrated with services on Monday, January 6. Visiting hours will be held at Cartmell Funeral Home in Plymouth, MA, 150 Court Street, from 9:00AM-11:00AM. Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00AM at Holy Family Church at 601 Tremont Street in Duxbury. Burial services will immediately follow at Mayflower Cemetery in Duxbury.
Donations in Kathy’s memory may be sent to “Express Special Needs Program” at C/O Elizabeth Nightingale, 46 Herring Weir Road, Duxbury, MA 02332. For online guestbook and directions, see cartmellfuneralhome.com.