James  Handy

Obituary of James Ronald Handy

Handy, James Ronald It is with profound sadness that the family announce the unexpected passing of James Ronald Handy in his 91st year. After a brief illness on Wednesday February 08, 2023 at the Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital. Beloved husband of 67 years to the late Shirley Ruby Handy (nee Archer, d.2020). Deeply loved, respected, and admired father of Douglas (Cynthia) and Shane (Leslie-Ann). Loving grandfather of Craig (Samantha), Francesca, Alexander, and Matthew. Proud new great grandfather to Slade James Handy. Dear brother of Ruby Crowe predeceased and Leonard (Doreen) both predeceased and brother-in-law of Faye (Lawrence) Townes both predeceased and Donald (Margaret) Archer. Jim will be deeply missed by many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. The youngest child of the late Zelma (Dickinson) and Ira Handy, Jim was born in Allenwood on October 14, 1932 growing up on the family farms in Flos Twsp. Jim met the love of his life Shirley at a street dance in Elmvale and they were married in June of 1953 & resided in Barrie. After leaving the family farm Jim worked at Barrie CO-OP. Having a talent for repairing just about anything and a keen interest in cars, Jim was recruited by the GM Dealership Dangerfield Motors where he pursued a career in the automotive industry. Starting briefly in car sales he soon turned to the service bays where he became a Class A Automotive Mechanic working his way up to Service Manager. Jim was very proud of his GM Factory Training & was a recognized talent in the field and was consulted by the factory and other dealerships for his diagnostic expertise. Being a gifted mechanic, time steered Jim to move his family to Jarratt in 1972 where he and Shirley as partners, successfully ran Handy’s Service Centre together for 16 years. Jim’s business integrity, quality work and friendly demeanor quickly made the Garage a success. In 1988 the couple retired from the Garage & moved to Orillia. Never one to be idle, Jim got back into the automotive arena as Service Manager at Kelly Motors/Kemp Ford. After retiring from the Automotive field Jim was coaxed into a new adventure as a plaza property manager until his final retirement. Jim loved aviation and as a younger man spent a lot of time at the Barrie Airport and flying in small aircraft. He built & flew control wire engine powered model airplanes. In his later years Jim enjoyed flying his fleet of small drones. Over the years cars, boats, campers, motorcycles, and snowmobiles were a constant staple in Jim’s life. Jim enjoyed outdoor activities with his family & friends. In summer he could be found camping and as an avid boater on the water in one of the many boats he piloted. The entire Trent Severn Waterway was navigated and was a favourite memory. A 1988 trip to the west coast aboard their Honda Goldwing motorcycle was another highlight of summer adventures. In winter Jim was snowmobiling as often as he could, an activity he enjoyed right up until March 2022. Many trips and outings were enjoyed with the Bass Lake Snowrunners, a club where he was an active member right up until its disbanding in 2022. Jim certainly lived up to his last name, as he was remarkably ‘handy’ when it came to anything mechanical or within the trades. Aside from being an expert under the hood of a car, Jim seemed to always know what to do if something broke or somebody needed help with plumbing, electrical, appliances, construction, upholstery, or woodwork. After hanging up his mechanic’s tools he became proficient in his woodworking shop. In fact, many of the most cherished items his family owns were either built or improved upon from his creative and precise hands. Jim will be remembered for his good nature, wisdom, generosity, zest for life & magnificent work ethic. He never slowed down, working on projects and doing things on his own terms right until the end. Jim’s mantra was ‘do it right the first time’. He will be fiercely missed by his family who knew the steadfast love and loyalty he always had for them, and they will forever cherish the wonderful memories they shared with him. Cremation has taken place and no services will be held at this time. A joint service for both James and Shirley will be held in late spring. As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society, or the charity of your choice through Simcoe Funeral Home, 38 Simcoe St. E., Orillia (705) 327-0221. Messages of condolence are welcomed at www.simcoefuneralhome.